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London chapter calls for $15 minimum wage

Photo by Anthony Verbeckmoes

The Council of Canadians London chapter chapter supports a higher minimum wage for working people. Yesterday, they joined with the London Common Front and other local activists for a Raise The Minimum Wage To $15/Hour & Fairness Rally near the intersection of Dundas and Richmond in that city.

In June 2014, the general minimum wage in Ontario was increased by 75 cents to to $11.25 an hour, but various studies have indicated that is insufficient.

In November 2013, the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) noted that the minimum wage in Ontario – it was $10.25 per hour then – was below the poverty line for full-time workers and short of living-wage calculations across the province (ranging from $18.69 in Halton to $14.95 in Hamilton). At that time, they recommended a minimum wage of $14.50 be implemented by 2016.

At present, the minimum wage is scheduled to increase only to $11.25 in October 2015.

Jim Stanford and Jordan Brennan have countered the assertion that a higher minimum wage would result in higher unemployment levels. They write, “Claims that higher minimum wages will inevitably cause measurable negative consequences (especially for young workers and those in low-wage industries) are not consistent with empirical evidence from the Canadian provinces. Minimum wage regulations do not have important consequences on employment outcomes in either direction. Not surprisingly, employment outcomes depend first and foremost on the overall level of spending and macroeconomic activity.”

The CCPA has also found a higher minimum wage would benefit companies with increased employee retention and the broader economy with more individuals with greater purchasing power.

Further reading
Peterborough-Kawarthas chapter calls for higher minimum wage in Ontario (March 2015 blog)
Surrey, Langley, White Rock chapter calls for a higher minimum wage (December 2014 blog)