March 20, 2015
Toronto – The Workers’ Action Centre welcomes the Ontario government’s announcement that the minimum wage will be increasing to keep up with inflation. But as workers across the province know, this is still far from enough.
The increase from $11 to $11.25, which will come in to effect on October 1, 2015, will still leave minimum wage workers more than 16% below the poverty line, even if they are working full time. “Every day we notice that our wages don’t get us as far as they used to. The costs of basic necessities like food and rent and transportation have all gone up. That is what makes indexation so important. But $11.25 is still not enough for us to make ends meet and take care of our families. We need a $15 minimum wage,” says Amelia White, a member of the Workers’ Action Centre.
“We have been fighting for indexation for a long time, and it’s good the government has finally recognized this. But the minimum wage still leaves lots of people behind – students, liquor servers, farm workers and others are still paid a lower minimum wage. Ontario is one of the few provinces that still does this, and that is not acceptable. There should be no exemptions to the minimum wage – all workers should be protected equally,” says Beixi Liu, organizer with the Workers’ Action Centre.
As the provincial government begins a review of the Employment Standards Act, now is the time to change our basic standards so that workers can have fairness at work and be raised out of poverty. A $15 minimum wage with no exemptions is an essential part of the change that workers need to create decent work in Ontario.
For media inquiries, contact:
Deena Ladd, Coordinator: 416-836-2379
Karen Cocq, Organizer: 647-970-8464