“A $15 minimum wage would be a tremendous step forward for workers,” says Deena Ladd, Coordinator of the Workers’ Action Centre. “This measure will strengthen the economy by putting more money in workers’ pockets.” Consumer spending is the ultimate driving force for an economy. The Bank of Canada has identified stagnant wages as a source of weakness that dampens demand and forces people into debt to make ends meet. “Let’s face it. No employer is going to increase production or staffing levels if people can’t buy the goods and services already on offer – regardless of how many tax cuts are implemented,” said Ladd. “What businesses need most are customers – that’s why we need to focus on creating good jobs with decent wages for all workers.”
Because employment standards fall within provincial jurisdiction, a federal minimum wage would only apply to workers in certain federally regulated industries like transportation, airlines and banking. We still need to push our provincial governments to act now to ensure that full-time workers aren’t living below the poverty line.
The fight for a $15 minimum wage has been a key demand of the growing movement for fair wages across North America. Recently a $15 minimum wage has been legislated in the municipalities of Seattle and SeaTac in Washington.
For more information on the Campaign to Raise the Minimum Wage, visit: www.raisetheminimumwage.ca.