Minimum / Living Wage

Poverty is wrong. Poverty is immoral.

Poverty is wrong
Poverty is immoral.

Consumer demand drives the economy. Consumer demand improves when more people spend more money. The service sector, store clerks, restaurants, hotels, attendants, etc. employs more people than any other in Canada but also pays the lowest salaries and wages on average. An increase in minimum wage would increase service sector wages. More people with higher incomes would directly increase consumer demand and therefore the economy.

It is said that tourism is adversely effected by a higher minimum wage. The main factor effecting tourism is transportation. Travel ticket costs and fuel prices are the main governing detractors to vacation plans. Both transportation and fuel supply do not chiefly rely on minimum wage. Fuel costs effect approximately 70% of tourism costs. Fuel supply and delivery, energy workers, are among the highest paid employees in Canada. If more tourism is the goal, perhaps energy costs should be the first to be questioned.

Canadians who work full-time shouldn’t have to live in poverty. Poverty is wrong. Poverty is immoral.

Minimum wages across Canada are too low.

The number of part-time employees at any one establishment should be a set at a maximum of total employees employed to avoid worker abuse.

Set the minimum wage at a livable wage and tied to the cost of living in the community.

What can be said about the business model that is dependent on minimum or below par wages, part-time employees, minimum working standards and base benefits?

Living Wage Canada defines “Living Wage” as:

… the hourly rate at which a household can meet its basic needs, once government transfers have been added to the family’s income and deductions have been subtracted. The rate takes into account housing, food and transportation costs based on data from Statistics Canada, Public Health and the CMHC. The rate also makes considerations for skills upgrading, childcare, and healthcare costs.

 Living Wage Canada

Communities across Canada are responding to  the increasingly high levels of low wage poverty. They are advocating that families should earn an income sufficient for them to pay for the basic necessities of life, so they can live with dignity and  participate as active citizens in our society. They are advocating for a Living Wage. Living Wage Canada is a site/portal to facilitate learning and information sharing among these communities to help build a national living wage movement. It includes details about the Canadian Living Wage Framework which provides a consistent living wage definition, calculation methodology, and strategy for recognizing corporate and community leadership who commit to pass a living wage policy.

The Living Wage for Families Campaign

… raises awareness about the negative impact of low-wage poverty on families and communities throughout BC. It also advocates for what poverty researchers believe is a key solution to the province’s rising poverty rates – regional living wages that ensure basic living expenses such as food, clothing, shelter, transportation and child care can be met.
Without living wage standards, parents and other caregivers who work for low wages in BC face impossible choices: buy food or heat the house, feed the children or pay the rent. The result is often spiraling debt, constant anxiety and long-term health problems.

Corporate Social Responsibility and a Living Wage Robert G. White
This paper explores the possible connections and av­enues for cooperation between the living wage movement and the broader corporate social responsibility community.

A Living Wage As a Human Right Mary Cornish

In Canada, many workers do not earn a living wage because of discrimination. Women work­ers and those who are racialized, immigrant, Aboriginal, living with disabil­ities or similarly disadvantaged are all segregated into low wage job ghettoes—their work systemically devalued. Governments and employers need to deliver more equitable compensation incomes for vulnerable workers. This paper explores how we can close discriminatory pay gaps, so that this basic human right — the right to work and to earn pay free of discrimination — is realized for Canada’s low-paid workers.

Living wage laws don’t help the most vulnerable Fraser Institute

Labour activists are out in full force pushing governments to legislate higher pay for low-wage workers and one version calls on municipalities to decree a “living wage law.” While these laws may sound like a good idea in theory, they do little to help the most vulnerable workers in practice.



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