Unifor welcomes BC $15 minimum wage timeline


On June 1, there will be a $1.30 an hour increase, bringing the minimum wage to $12.65 an hour.

"They also looked at experiences of other jurisdictions, the history of wage increases and the impact those impacts had on businesses and on employment".

Commenting on the plight of minimum wage workers he said: "They shouldn't have to rely on foodbanks".

The move follows the recommendation of the Fair Wage Commission, struck by the NDP and Greens after they took office past year.

At the recommendation of a special commission, Premier John Horgan announced Thursday that the minimum wage would climb from $11.35 an hour to $15.20 by June 2021.

"In light of the slow timeline to achieve $15, we expect that the government will move more decisively in the next phase of its fair wage process around exemptions from the minimum wage, like the punitively lower wages for restaurant servers and farm workers, and the concept of a living wage", she said.

It said the hourly wage rate could be raised to $15.40 an hour by 2021, depending on economic conditions.

Horgan and Labour Minister Harry Bains are set to make the announcement this morning in North Vancouver.

"I am especially concerned that this may be the straw that breaks some of them", she said, adding businesses are facing increased property taxes, and increases in taxes due to recent federal tax changes to the CCPC. After the election, with the support of the Green Party, the NDP government appointed a Fair Wages Commission to advise it on raising the minimum wage and dropped the deadline.

"When low-wage earners have money in their pocket, they don't stock it away in offshore tax havens, they put it right back into the economy", stated Premier Horgan.

"Poverty and inequality are rampant in our province while B.C.is Canada's most expensive place to live", Lanzinger said in a statement.

"Minimum wage workers deserve a raise", said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President.

Lanzinger says about 60 per cent of low wage workers are women, and 80 per cent are adults.

"The commission report included many stories of people who work on minimum wage", Bains said.

"All these things combined with minimum wage increases are going to help the working poor", she said.

400,000 workers, or 20 percent of workers in B.C., now earn less than $15 an hour. About 4.8 per cent of employees make the current minimum wage of $11.35 an hour. "It contributes directly to our promise to make life more affordable for British Columbians".