What Some People Don’t Want You to Know About Minimum Wage
May 26, 2017
The Manitoba Government is racing ahead with changes to minimum wage that will lock full-time minimum wage earners in to a poverty wage.
Bill 33, The Minimum Wage Indexation Act will tie minimum wage increases to the cost of living. This year, that means minimum wage earners will receive a 15 cent increase per hour increase. But the government is also going a step further. They will also have control to stop an increase if an economic recession hits.
This week I had the opportunity to speak at a legislative committee to voice my concerns over Bill 33. Here’s what I told them.
No Manitoban should struggle to keep food on the table or clothes on their kids’ backs, especially if they spend their week working a full-time job. This legislation will not do enough to help working families living in poverty and struggling to make ends meet.
I also addressed some misconceptions about minimum wage and some alarming statistics which rarely receive headlines. For instance, did you know that 60 percent of minimum wage earners are women? As we continue to fight for gender equality and fair wages across the board – how can we continue to have more women living pay cheque to pay cheque or getting a second job to make ends meet!
You may also be surprised to know that 66 percent of minimum wage earners are over the age of 20. This is another shameful statistic and it breaks the myth that the majority of those earning minimum wage are teenagers.
Also, 53 percent of minimum wage earners work for large corporations (100+ employees). Far too often the argument against increasing minimum wage is that it will hurt small businesses. What about large corporations who can easily afford to pay higher wages?
Last year, while the government froze Manitoba’s minimum wage, the Premier and Cabinet Ministers received a 20 percent wage increase, and now they want Manitobans to accept Bill 33? Fifteen cents is hardly an increase. Working full-time shouldn’t leave you struggling to get by.
It’s time Manitoba got serious about a living wage for working Manitobans. This bill will not give people in poverty a ‘leg-up’ – it will just keep them living in poverty.
Comments are now closed