Ontario Federation of Labour

Ontario Federation of Labour

January 30, 2014 14:27 ET

Inflationary Increases Will Protect Minimum Wage Earners From Falling Behind, but $11 Is Not Enough to Work Their Way Out of Poverty

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Jan. 30, 2014) - Today's announcement by Premier Kathleen Wynne that minimum wage increases will be pegged to inflation is welcome news to the province's one million workers who earn at or near the minimum wage, but $11 an hour will leave them leaning on taxpayers to make ends meet.

"Workers and community groups are finally seeing the fruits of our labour. After a yearlong campaign to raise the minimum wage, we are proud to see the Wynne government implementing the inflationary increases we've been calling for but there is more to be done," said OFL President Sid Ryan. "Ontario will truly make history by adopting annual increases that protect workers' wages from erosion and political games. However, an $11 minimum wage will still mean that low-wage workers have to rely on taxpayer support, not fair wages, to escape the poverty trap."

"A $14 minimum wage would allow every low-wage earner to work their way out of poverty. Anything below that leaves workers relying on taxpayer support to provide for their families and to make ends meet," said Ryan. "Meanwhile, very profitable corporations are being allowed to continue to pay poverty wages. There is nothing fair about that."

"We are hoping that Premier Wynne will see that by investing in people, she has an opportunity to kick-start the economy," said Ryan. "With a measure of income security, working people will be able to spend money in their communities and business will thrive."

The Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL) represents 54 unions and one million workers in Ontario. For information, visit www.OFL.ca and follow the OFL on Facebook and Twitter: @OFLabour.

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