Canadian workers earning minimum wage in several provinces are now seeing pay increases.
Six states – Ontario, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador – increased their minimum wages last Saturday.
Canada’s annual inflation rate has reached nearly a 40-year high in recent months and is set to rise in a wave as the cost of living soars.
The current minimum wage is $15.50 in Ontario, $13 in Saskatchewan, $13.50 in Manitoba, $13.60 in Nova Scotia, $13.75 in New Brunswick, and $13.70 in Newfoundland and Labrador.
A few states, like Ontario, Alberta, British Columbia, and three territories, are trying to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour, but many are trying to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour. is.
Manitoba is on track to reach $15 by October 2023. Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador by April 1, 2024, and Saskatchewan by October 1, 2024, according to state government websites.
Labor advocates say they can’t wait to see the benefits.
But they say the long-standing goal of $15 an hour nationwide is no longer enough to address the affordability crisis.
“For years we’ve been demanding a minimum wage of $15 an hour, but it’s no longer enough.
“Inflation and food and housing costs really need to be $20 an hour or more.”
Hayley Tuttley, organizer of the advocacy group Nova Scotia Workers Justice, said the pay increase was “absolutely necessary” but reiterated that it was “not enough.”
“I see people all over the country suffering,” she said. “A small wage increase won’t help.”
Her organization was once called the $15 Fight. But during her year and a half, management realized that “$15 isn’t enough anymore,” she said.
Meanwhile, business groups say the minimum wage hike comes at a tough time as they struggle to recover from the pandemic shutdown.
Dan Kelly, president and CEO of the Federation of Independent Businesses of Canada, said: “Less than half of small businesses have returned to normal sales.
“The average small business is saddled with $160,000 in COVID-related debt, and that cost is rising rapidly. It is currently very difficult to handle the increasing costs of doing business.”
Businesses are likely to raise prices and cut operating hours as wages rise, he said.
“We know the government is under pressure to raise the minimum wage, but we should find other ways to ease the burden on the business community,” Kelly said. “We are asking governments to consider a freeze. [employment insurance] Insurance fee. ”
Ted Mallett, director of economic forecasts for the Canadian Congress Commission, said the minimum wage hike should come automatically to make it more predictable for workers and businesses.
Some supporters have suggested tying the minimum wage to inflation, but said states should consider fixing the minimum wage for adults at 50% of average income.
“Wages typically rise faster than inflation, which improves living standards. [minimum wages] Averaging income instead of raising prices because it further increases earning power over time. ”
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