TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - May 13, 2014) - Wed. May 14, students and young workers will set up an obstacle course on the lawn of Queen's Park to demonstrate the hurdles students face juggling rising tuition fees and low-wage work. The event is part of the ongoing campaign calling on party leaders and candidates to support a $14 minimum wage in Ontario.
||Young Worker Obstacle Course
||Wednesday, May 14, 2014
||Northwest corner of College St. and University Ave., Toronto
||Colourful and engaging visuals, including a real-life obstacle course that includes the Student Debt Challenge, the Unpaid Bills Balancing Act and the Child-care Juggle
The minimum wage increase to $11 scheduled for June 1 leaves workers struggling at 16 per cent below the poverty line. Students under the age of 18 will only see their wages rise to $10.30 per hour.
"We are feeling the squeeze of part-time work, high tuition fees and a minimum wage that leaves us below the poverty line," says Denise Martins, from Campaign to Raise the Minimum Wage who is also the Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL) Vice-President for Young Workers. "Young workers are frustrated with their prospects and are here today to say we deserve decent wages and the same opportunities for good jobs as previous generations."
"Just two decades ago, a student could work full-time at minimum wage over the summer at 35 hours a week for 8 weeks, and pay off a year's worth of undergraduate tuition fees. Today, it would take at least 20 weeks at minimum wage to pay off a year's worth of tuition fees, more weeks than are in the summer," says Alastair Wood, chairperson of the Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario. "This means more pressure on families and more student debt."
"All three party leaders are talking about creating jobs for Ontario workers. But what kind of jobs are they promising?" asks OFL President Sid Ryan. "We reject an economic agenda that doesn't lift workers out of poverty. Party leaders and candidates should commit to a $14 minimum wage and decent work for everyone."
Actions for a $14 minimum wage and decent work will be taking place in communities across Ontario during the election.
For more information on the Campaign, visit: www.raisetheminimumwage.ca.
Follow the campaign Twitter account @fairwagesnow and hashtag #14now.
The Campaign to Raise the Minimum Wage is coordinated by ACORN, Freedom 90, Mennonite New Life Centre, OCAP, Ontario Campaign 2000, Parkdale Community Legal Services, Put Food in the Budget, Social Planning Toronto, Toronto and York Region Labour Council and Workers' Action Centre.
The Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL) represents 54 unions and one million workers in Ontario.
The Canadian Federation of Students-Ontario represents more than 300,000 college, undergraduate and graduate students in all regions of the province.