Fight for $15 and Fairness

Fight for $15 and Fairness

September 29, 2015 17:18 ET

25 Cent Minimum Wage Adjustment: "Important Milestone," but not enough to lift workers out of poverty

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Sept. 29, 2015) - In an outreach blitz in downtown Toronto, supporters of the Fight for $15 and Fairness are reminding workers in Toronto and across Ontario that the province's first legislated cost of living adjustment will be taking effect October 1, when the minimum wage increases by 25 cents.

"We want to get the word out that the minimum wage is being adjusted by 25 cents to keep up with inflation," says Deena Ladd, coordinator of the Workers' Action Centre. "Workers should be looking for this adjustment on their next pay cheques."

When: Wednesday, September 30 at 10:30 am
Where: Northeast corner of Spadina & Queen Street
What: Photo & Television Opportunity
Outreach blitz: Colourful visuals
Who: Workers affected by minimum wage increase

"The fact we have a legislated cost of living adjustment is a testament to the pressure brought to bear on our provincial government by union and non-union workers across Ontario," says Sid Ryan, president of the Ontario Federation of Labour. "It means that minimum wage earnings will not fall as far behind as they have in the past when the minimum wage could be frozen for years at a time." Indexation was an important demand advanced by those advocating for a higher minimum wage, a campaign that pushed the government to increase the general minimum wage from $10.25 to $11.00 after a four-year freeze.

"Whenever the minimum wage is frozen, it amounts to a pay cut for workers," said Ladd. Between 1995 and 2004, when Ontario's general minimum wage was frozen, it lost more than 20% of its purchasing power. When it was frozen again between 2010 and 2014, it lost nearly 10% of its purchasing power. "We all need to remember that this 25 cent adjustment is not the same as a wage increase," adds Ladd. "It's a mechanism to prevent workers from falling even further below the poverty line."

Even at $11.25 an hour, Ontario's minimum wage leaves a full-time worker more than 17% below the poverty line. Supporters of the Fight for $15 and Fairness campaign say the minimum wage must provide a full-time worker with income that is at least 10% above the poverty line.

"All workers need at least $15 an hour," says Ryan. "But we also need important changes in employment law to make sure that workers have decent hours, fair scheduling, equal pay, seven days of paid sick leave and the right to form unions to make this happen."

Contact Information

  • Karen Cocq
    647-970-8464

    Deena Ladd
    416-836-2379

    Sid Ryan
    416-209-0066