(Quebec) The rise in the minimum wage in Quebec from 50 to 13.50 per hour on Saturday means that many unions say the move is clearly not enough to lift people out of poverty. On the other hand, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) believes that this is an “additional burden on the shoulders” of SMEs, which have been severely damaged by the third wave of COVID-19.
The Quebec government has confirmed that the normal minimum wage will be raised to 50 13.50 per hour by Saturday, indicating an increase of 40 cents.
This 3.1% increase will enable the 50% ratio between the normal minimum wage rate and the average hourly wage to reach the target for the period 2021-2022.
The Quebec government indicated such an increase in the minimum hourly wage last December.
Jean Boulette, Minister of Labor, Employment and Social Solidarity, believes that an increase in the general minimum wage rate will enable people to get a fair wage, without compromising employment or the competitiveness of companies. In his opinion, this increase will help reduce wage inequality by increasing the purchasing power of relevant employees, i.e. there are 287,000, 164,700 women in Quebec.
On the other hand, by Saturday, the minimum wage to be paid to employees for tips will increase by 80 10.80, 35 cents per hour. Workers from other sectors in agriculture will also benefit from the increase.
When is it $ 15 per hour or more?
Quebec’s Federation of Workers (FTQ) believes the increase in the minimum wage is “still very low” for workers below the scale.
“Who expects to live with dignity at a wage of $ 13.50 an hour as the government has just announced?” With such a salary, it is impossible to pay for rent, electricity or groceries and get the minimum essential items. If Mr. Boulette really believes this is reasonable, I challenge him and his colleagues to live recklessly on this salary! “, FTQ President Daniel Boyer said in a press release on Friday.
On the 1st FTQ launched an extensive campaign for a minimum wage of $ 15Is May 2016. From now on, the union says the company is busy updating this demand “so that it is in line with today’s reality, but workers are experiencing a significant increase in the cost of living and rents across the province, at unprecedented levels”.
The 5-10-15 campaign coalition argued that the Quebec government was lagging behind because the federal government announced in its budget this month that it intends to set a minimum wage of $ 15 per hour.
The coalition, comprising five unions (CSD, CSN, CSQ, SFPQ and SPGQ), the Front for the Protection of Non-Union Members and the Collective for Poverty-Free Quebec, “ridiculously raised 40 cents” in the minimum wage.
5-10-15 Co-spokeswoman for the campaign, Virginie Larivier, ruled that “it is clearly not enough for people to get out of poverty.”
The groups argue that the government has sung the praises of low-wage workers such as orderlys, maintenance staff and grocery store clerks. However, the temporary bonuses at the health crisis cannot be replaced by “a normal salary that allows you to live with dignity, at least $ 15 an hour.”
An additional burden on SMEs
Instead, the Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses (CFIB) believes it is “an additional burden on the shoulders of SMEs”.
CFIB is concerned about the new minimum wage hike, saying that the third wave of COVID-19 continues to hit small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and that only 32% of them have returned to “normal earnings”.
“Obviously, low-income people need a lot of support, especially in times of crisis, but the increase in minimum wages will also have a negative impact on SMEs,” said Franయిois Vincent, vice president of CFIB in Quebec.
“The government will support other measures to combat poverty, such as an increase in basic personal amounts, such as work bonuses or tax credits targeted at workers,” Mr Vincent added.