Minimum wage hike not enough, says B.C. Federation of Labour
As the provincial minimum wage rises to $10.25 today (May 1), the B.C. Federation of Labour is calling on the province to make further increases.
The B.C. government has increased the hourly wage from $8 in three stages over the past year, following through on a promise from Premier Christy Clark.
“Today’s increase to $10.25 is good news, and long overdue,” B.C. Federation of Labour president Jim Sinclair said in a news release. “Unfortunately, even at $10.25, workers in B.C. don’t reach the poverty line.”
The federation has proposed boosting the wage to $11.25 by November and making future annual increases based on the recommendations of an independent panel.
“We are looking for a commitment by government to increase the wage again six months from now,” Sinclair said.
The federation also took issue with the fact that piece rates for hand harvesters have not changed and the minimum wage for liquor servers has only increased to $9 per hour.
“It is absolutely unfair and arbitrary of this government to increase the minimum wage for some workers and not others,” Sinclair said.
Meanwhile, labour minister Margaret MacDiarmid applauded the latest increase.
"British Columbians who made $8.00 per hour last year, could now have more than an additional $4,000 in their pockets this year,” MacDiarmid said in a news release.
“That's good news for individuals and families—and that's good news for the economy."