On­tario to cap min­i­mum wage at $14 an hour un­til 2020

PressReader - Tke Channel - On­tario to cap min­i­mum wage at $14 an hour un­til 2020
On­tario will cap min­i­mum wage at $14 an hour un­til fall 2020 as part of a roll­back of labour re­forms in­tro­duced by the pre­vi­ous Lib­eral regime, the Pro­gres­sive Con­ser­va­tive gov­ern­ment an­nounced Tues­day, draw­ing praise from busi­nesses and crit­i­cism from unions and anti-poverty ad­vo­cates.The gov­ern­ment said new rules — which will link fu­ture min­i­mumwage in­creases to the in­fla­tion rate and re­duce the num­ber of per­sonal leave days — will help cut red tape and en­cour­age busi­ness in­vest­ment. “The pre­vi­ous gov­ern­ment brought in a tsunami of new bur­dens and reg­u­la­tions that have im­posed sig­nif­i­cant un­nec­es­sary costs on busi­nesses and sti­fled eco­nomic growth,” said Eco­nomic Devel­op­ment Min­is­ter Jim Wil­son as the gov­ern­ment de­tailed its pro­posed labour leg­is­la­tion.On­tario’s min­i­mum wage in­creased from $11.60 to $14 an hour on Jan. 1, and was set to rise to $15 an hour next year as a re­sult of the Lib­er­als’ labour laws. Un­der the gov­ern­ment’s new leg­is­la­tion, it will re­main at $14 un­til Oc­to­ber 2020.Labour Min­is­ter Lau­rie Scott said the gov­ern­ment will be us­ing an “eco­nom­i­cally sound met­ric” to de­cide the rate of fu­ture in­creases.“On­tario work­ers and busi­nesses de­serve a min­i­mum wage de­ter­mined by eco­nomics not pol­i­tics,” she said.The gov­ern­ment’s labour bill, if passed, will also cut two paid per­sonal leave days for work­ers, bring­ing their to­tal to eight — three for per­sonal ill­ness, two for be­reave­ment leave and three for fam­ily re­spon­si­bil­i­ties.The leg­is­la­tion keeps pro­vi­sions brought in by the Lib­er­als that granted work­ers up to 10 days of leave if they or their child ex­pe­ri­ences do­mes­tic or sex­ual vi­o­lence. It will also main­tain reg­u­la­tions that grant On­tario work­ers three weeks of paid va­ca­tion af­ter five years of ser­vice.But a num­ber of sched­ul­ing pro­vi­sions will be scrapped un­der the Tory bill, in­clud­ing a min­i­mum of three hours pay in the event a shift is can­celled 48 hours or less be­fore it was sched­uled to be­gin.“We will re­verse the need­less sched­ul­ing re­stric­tions and give back em­ploy­ers the flex­i­bil­ity to have the right staff at the right time,” Scott said.The gov­ern­ment’s moves on the labour file were ap­plauded by some in the busi­ness com­mu­nity who had ar­gued against the min­i­mum wage in­crease and labour re­forms when they were brought in last year.Jo­ce­lyn Bam­ford, of the Coali­tion of Con­cerned Man­u­fac­tur­ers, said the wage hike was “too much too soon.”“This leg­is­la­tion will go a long way to main­tain­ing the vi­a­bil­ity of small and medium busi­nesses in the prov­ince and will help us save jobs,” she said.Oth­ers, how­ever, said the gov­ern­ment was un­do­ing mea­sures that had made life eas­ier for fam­i­lies and vowed to push back.“We’ve known for a long time that Doug Ford is no friend of work­ers,” said On­tario Fed­er­a­tion of Labour Pres­i­dent Chris Buck­ley. “With to­day’s an­nounce­ment he’s proven ex­actly that.”Pam Frache, of the ad­vo­cacy group Fight for $15 and Fair­ness, said by rolling back Lib­eral labour re­forms, Ford was break­ing a cam­paign pledge to stick up for reg­u­lar On­tario res­i­dents.“What Mr. Ford has an­nounced to­day is not a gov­ern­ment that is for the peo­ple but a gov­ern­ment for the cor­po­rate elite,” she said.NDP Leader An­drea Hor­wath said she was skep­ti­cal about whether the Ford gov­ern­ment will ac­tu­ally fol­low through the pledge to in­crease the min­i­mum wage in 2020.“We’ll have to wait,” she said. “What we know for sure is that On­tario work­ers are be­ing dragged back­wards so Mr. Ford can hand out the good­ies to his friends in the busi­ness com­mu­nity.”

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