TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Jan. 30, 2014) - Premier Kathleen Wynne announced a minimum wage increase to $11.00 today and promised to introduce legislation that would ensure future annual increases with the cost of living.
"With this announcement, the government has acted on some key demands raised by workers across Ontario, recognizing that the minimum wage needs to be indexed annually to inflation and that workers need a raise," says Yvonne Kelly of the Social Planning Council of York Region.
"Indexation means that instead of falling behind each year, workers will now get an annual wage increase," says Deena Ladd from the Workers' Action Centre. "However, while a 75-cent increase puts a little more in workers' pockets, it falls far short of the goal of lifting workers out of poverty. Today's announcement also means that low-wage employers - many of whom are large, profitable, corporations - will continue to be subsidized by tax payers," she adds.
"The issue of decent pay and decent work is not going away. 1.4 million workers earn less than $14 an hour and even with today's announcement, Ontario families will still continue to struggle to make ends meet," says Anita Khanna of Campaign 2000.
According to the Campaign to Raise the Minimum Wage, weak consumer demands helps explain why Ontario's economy is still struggling. Corporations are reluctant to invest in new jobs and services if people do not have money to spend. Increasing the minimum wage to $14 an hour would put at least $5 billion annually into Ontario's economy, stimulating consumer demand and job creation.
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.