On­tario to in­crease min­i­mum wage to $15 an hour in 2019

Cape Breton Post - - News | Business -

TORONTO - On­tario is rais­ing its min­i­mum wage to $15 an hour by 2019, en­sur­ing equal pay for part-time work­ers and in­creas­ing the min­i­mum va­ca­tion en­ti­tle­ment as part of a ma­jor labour over­haul. Premier Kath­leen Wynne made the an­nounce­ment Tues­day in re­sponse to a govern­ment-com­mis­sioned re­port re­leased last week that in­cluded 173 rec­om­men­da­tions ad­dress­ing pre­car­i­ous work.

The Chang­ing Work­places re­view con­cluded that new tech­nol­ogy, a shrink­ing man­u­fac­tur­ing sec­tor and fewer union jobs, among other fac­tors, have left ap­prox­i­mately one-third of On­tario’s 6.6 mil­lion work­ers vul­ner­a­ble. The re­port didn’t ex­am­ine the min­i­mum wage, which is cur­rently in­dexed to in­fla­tion and had been set to rise from $11.40 to $11.60 in Oc­to­ber, but Wynne said rais­ing it will make a dif­fer­ence in mil­lions of peo­ple’s lives.

The min­i­mum wage will rise to $14 an hour on Jan. 1, 2018 and is set to in­crease to $15 the fol­low­ing year. About 10 per cent of On­tario work­ers are cur­rently mak­ing min­i­mum wage, but about 30 per cent are mak­ing less than $15 an hour - the ma­jor­ity of them women. Lower min­i­mum wages for stu­dents un­der 18 and liquor servers will also rise dur­ing the same time frame, but those ex­emp­tions to the min­i­mum wage will not be elim­i­nated, as the re­port had rec­om­mended.

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