Government must lift minimum wage earners out of poverty – CUPE

On May 23 CUPE presented to the Legislative Standing Committee on Bill 33 (The Minimum Wage Indexation Act).

This Bill would index minimum wage to inflation. Matt McLean, CUPE’s National Research Representative in Manitoba made a strong presentation arguing that attaching minimum wage to inflation will only keep minimum wage earners stuck below the poverty line.

“Tying the minimum wage to CPI will do nothing to address this fundamental problem of full-time workers earning poverty wages”, McLean told the committee.

“In fact, it will guarantee that it continues by ensuring that the gap between the minimum wage and a living wage will not only continue, but could grow even larger”.

CUPE’s presentation also helped to bust the myth that minimum wage earners are predominantly teenagers working their first part-time jobs.

“69% of minimum wage earners are age 20 or older … and 46% of minimum wage earners are full-time employees”, said McLean.

“We are talking about people of all ages, of all education levels, in all kinds of businesses”

McLean urged the committee to “get back to the drawing board and come up with a real plan for working families.

For the full presentation:
CUPE Submission on Bill 33