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2013-12-14 at 14:31

Time for a raise

By Matt Vis,
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Terry Barga finds the plight many minimum wage works find themselves in to be shameful.

The business representative with the Labourers Union Thunder Bay said corporations and governments need to do more to protect workers.

“I think that corporations are making all the money and not sharing the wealth. The top percent earners in the country aren’t sharing,” Barga said.

“Obviously the corporations don’t want anything to do with it, so I think it has to be the government in power.”

Barga was one of a handful of demonstrators braving the cold winter temperatures on Saturday as Poverty Free Thunder Bay hosted a rally across the street from the Intercity Shopping Centre to encourage increasing the provincial minimum wage to $14 per hour.

The demonstration was one of several occurring across the province.

The minimum wage was most recently increased to the current $10.25 per hour in 2010.

Barga said he believes the low wages places a strain on families.

“It isn’t enough, because it makes them work two jobs and people don’t have time for their families anymore and it’s not enough to get by,” he said.

“It’s basically a poverty wage.”

Terri Carter, chairwoman of Poverty Free Thunder Bay, said the increase would put workers just above the poverty line and decrease the reliance upon food banks and other services.

“The $14 an hour is more of a living wage,” Carter said.

“It will be able to provide food and shelter for people. We’ve noticed a lot more people needing to use food banks and there’s a big need for that, whereas if they had a living wage they’d rely less on that and be able to buy their own food.”

Poverty Free Thunder Bay has been calling for the minimum wage increase for months, and Carter said she is seeing evidence that the movement is starting to gain traction.

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We've improved our comment system.
working_man says:
Quick question, how much do you think the average person can or will pay for a burger? How much will "burgers" go up along with the cost of labour?
Just an example…. food for thought.
12/14/2013 2:55:59 PM
tsb says:
People are already paying $6 to $12 for a burger. I don't think a 35% increase in wages (it would be about a 15% increase in total labour costs, as many costs are fixed rates per employee) would have that much impact on the cost of the burger.

This wouldn't be an issue if employees were given raises over time, anyway. There are people working at fast food restaurants and retail outlets who have been around for years, but they don't get paid anything more than $12/hour and many aren't allowed to work full time. Walmart won't allow most of its employees to log more than 36 hours a week.

The only thing raising minimum wage will do is reduce corporate profits slightly. If they increase their prices, that's because of their greed, not the employees'.
12/15/2013 3:30:48 PM
sandstorm says:
absolutely horrible idea.. do they not realize if minimum wage goes up (AGAIN) then that will increase the price of everything else. which they will then once again complain that they're not getting paid enough. You don't want a minimum wage job, put in the time and get the schooling required for it.
12/14/2013 3:01:28 PM
mystified says:
It hasn't increased since 2010 while the cost of living has continued to rise.
As for putting in the time and get the schooling required....There are one hell of a pile of highly educated people in this country working for minimum wage for many reasons. The old catch 22, can't get hired without experience. How is one to get experience if nobody will hire them. Economics and government interference close a lot of doors for those who have the education.
The days of getting hired by walking into a business or job site are gone. I don't understand why anyone would think it is terrible that someone would like to live above the poverty level.
12/14/2013 6:43:23 PM
TBDR says:
actually that's been proven false in numerous countries around the world. Though I'd personally prefer a guaranteed minimum income as was proposed by Senator Hugh Segal
12/14/2013 11:59:43 PM
iceman says:
I Like what Switzerland tried to do last month but the figure was unrealistic. Cap CEO wages to 100 times of what the lowest paid employee is (Switzerland tried for 15 times) So if a employee is making $10/hr, the CEO can only make $1000/hr. So when the CEO wants a 20% raise so will the bottom guy
12/14/2013 4:40:11 PM
gremlin says:
This is addressed to Terri Carter & Terry Barga. The "minimum wage isn't meant to be a living wage, it's meant to provide your most basic needs". YOU ARE EXPECTED TO HAVE INITIATIVE & SOME PRIDE TO GET YOURSELF IN A BETTER SITUATION.

Contrary to what others believe YOU DON'T HAVE TO HAVE A UNIVERSITY OR COLLEGE EDUCATION to make more money. All that is required is to HAVE A STRONG WORK ETHIC, BE DEPENDABLE & HAVE INITIATIVE.

Unfortunately these are things that aren't being taught in our homes or schools anymore, thanks to SOCIALISM.
12/14/2013 7:16:16 PM
tsb says:
A strong work ethic, be dependable and have initiative?

I fully expect you to go up to anyone working at a retail store or fast food outlet for more than 2 years that they lack initiative, dependability and a work ethic. Do it. Tell them, to their face, that you want them to continue to work hard without any pay raises because you won't pay more than $14.99 for a toaster.

Do it.

I dare you.
12/15/2013 3:33:11 PM
Jeannied says:
Is it really necessary to use caps and so many quotation marks when writing a response? That is considered rude in internet etiquette.
To your points, what do you know about what is being taught in homes or schools about ethics? There are people who do work hard and never get ahead so stop spreading your misconceptions and ill informed opinions, since you don't actually know. Minimum wage for many many people does NOT allow people to meet basic needs anymore, thus hard working people living below the poverty line.
As well, there is nothing wrong with bettering yourself with education. It is impossible for many people to get an education and make a living anymore. You are obviously a bitter person and if you don't like our society maybe you should move somewhere else.
Many of us care about other people.
12/15/2013 3:53:29 PM
Reignmaker says:
Socialism is a system that is literally built off of the people's strong work ethic, dependability and initiative.

You speak about learning things in school, but have clearly never opened a book to understand the very term you use to argue with.

Your usage of socialism is not what the creators of said term have in mind. It is about the shared ownership of everything, built by everyone.

Not built by everyone but owned by so few like we have today.

I don't think expecting these raises is realistic when we are going through hard times Province wide. But I do think there should be some sort of increase on a gradual basis.
12/16/2013 2:13:35 PM
Tachyion says:
Mommy.....I need the "Government" to take care of me. "The Corporations are making all the money and not sharing it"...well if you got a JOB working for one of those Corporations, you would be participating in the sharing....instead of wanting the GOVERNMENT ( read the taxpaying citizens ) to provide for you. Real Estate understands it...location, location, location, when are the freeloaders going to get, education, education and most important of all "Needs take preference over Wants".
12/14/2013 10:31:58 PM
whatelseisnew says:
Need the government to take care of what? Standards need to be set and maintained. How much do you Tachyion to the bank? OSAP, mortgage, car finance, credit cards, lines of credit? Now you look over ALL your bills and ask yourself; are you living within your means, or charging your way to the top on the banks money?
12/15/2013 11:48:09 AM
tsb says:
"well if you got a JOB working for one of those Corporations"


This isn't about government providing for people! This is about corporations not compensating their employees!

Did you read the article??
12/15/2013 3:34:54 PM
hardrawkin says:
I still agree that the minimum wage should be increased.
I'm a lot confused at the fear Of "Working Man " that the cost of burgers will increase. The cost of Coffee too. I see a huge line up every morning of people trying to get a coffee and a donnut. I'll give you a hint to save some time. Spend $20 to $30 and buy a coffee maker and make your own. Then you can kiss your minimum wage earner good bye.
Maybe your own little, slightly higher than minimum wage job will take off to China and you will become a minimum wage earner as well.
Everybody deserves a fair and living wage for what they do.
12/14/2013 11:30:50 PM
smartguy83 says:
Not sure I get what that would accomplish. Buying a coffee maker and not buying a morning coffee would hurt these minimum wage workers even more.
12/16/2013 11:57:21 AM
hockeyday says:
Dont want to see Walmart and some of the other big stores pay their workforce a few more dollars an hour to atleast POVERTY level wages. I would love to see some of the posters on here who so are quick to criticize support themselves on $10/hour when some of the CEO's in these same outfits somehow need to make $10,000 an hour to get buy. As for the cost going up, more people have more to spend and I think a few more pennies per pizza wont bankrupt us. As for the insensitive suggesting get some pride, there are only so many high pay jobs and talk to some university grads easy to blame the working poor.
12/15/2013 12:05:02 AM
smartguy83 says:
You see a wage increase for min wage workers would get funneled to the consumer. You can say all you want that a couple of pennies won't matter but it actually does. I worked hard to get to where I am in life. If everything goes up slightly I all of a sudden have not kept up with inflation and in turn am poorer. Not sure how that all of a sudden is fair?
12/16/2013 11:59:18 AM
nvjgu says:
WSIB would just love the Increase. More that It increase's less they have to pay out. Why don't they raise it to $20hr that way WSIB won't have to pay anybody anything, perfect.
12/15/2013 12:53:50 AM
mystified says:
I guess you have a hate on for injured workers. Why anyone would want to see a injured worker who is receiving WSIB benefits get no monies to pay the everyday bills is beyond me.
It all depends on what bill the WSIB client is covered under. After 72 months a injured worker is locked in and can earn a million dollars a day and still get the cheque from WSIB.
You have know idea what it is like to be an injured worker and deal with the BS and hurdles one has to deal with.
12/16/2013 8:43:58 AM
oscarmyerweiner says:
Do you really think this will solve the poverty issues ? How much are you willing to pay for basic necessities (milk, bread, toilet paper, etc)? Again you ask for a minimum wage increase, have you not learned anything from the previous increase in 2010?

12/15/2013 2:45:06 AM
I Like Mike says:
Our gracious premier, Kathleen Wynne, will make the minimum age go up. Who cares if things are more expensive? If it means that poor people and minorities and women are lifted out of poverty, all the better! This is why my vote will be with the Liberals next election.
12/15/2013 6:27:40 AM
smartguy83 says:
But if costs rise, they will also rise for these people as well in turn not exactly making them better off...just worth noting
12/16/2013 12:01:06 PM
Stevie62 says:
I would love to better myself and get a post secondary education, but I'm not making enough to support myself, pay bills, rent, food, and save for post secondary. Every paycheck just pulls me out of the hole.
12/15/2013 7:14:07 AM
tbayguy009 says:
Here we go again. Why do people look to the power of government to “correctly” organize society?

And the question of the day?

Great, now I may need to let some government sponsored inspector enter my house to verify that the already in place carbon monoxide detector is functioning. I can't be trusted to do that myself ya know.

Step away from the cell phones, they only support million dollar hockey players salaries.

Put down the video game controllers and learn to communicate with humans not AI's.

Learn to be responsible for yourself, not waiting for someone to give into your childish demands.

Ignore the rich snobs like they are the plague. (which they are). Being rich does not mean you are better. Just better at manipulating others, and perfectly comfortable doing it.

Even adults are acting like spoiled bratty kids these days.

Anyone saying education is the key, needs a reality check. Tens of thousands of student loans across this country are being paid back, by minimum wages.
12/15/2013 7:44:16 AM
Tbaylifer 1 says:
With the start of the global economy, it was stated that with the loss of manufacturing jobs the service industry would take up the loss of employment. We will be a knowledge based economy. Unfortunatly, there just isn't enough knowledge based jobs. So the result will not be a rise in minumum wage but a reduction in all other wages both private and public. It's just a matter of time. Why do you think the Hudak gov., wants open competion for labour and give workers the right to not pay union dues. Worker fighting worker and no collective voice. Commenters, educate yourselves.
12/15/2013 9:13:12 AM
tbayguy009 says:

Workers fighting workers???

Let get something straight here. Once and for all. This is about workers taking money out of other workers pockets. Period.

Every minimum wage earner pays that HST on EVERYTHING now. Including necessities of life like electricity. Meals over $4. Pretty much everything. Not an income tax, a GENERAL tax.

For what? To pay for some government sponsored job or service. (think the hospitol and how that is going)

Workers of the governments do NOT relate to workers in the private section one bit. Fat salaries, fat pensions, lots of sick days and vacation days ALL outside the dreams of any private sector.

So please educate yourself and take off the rose coloured glasses. One day you might learn how good you HAD it. But only after it crashes like what is happening in Europe rigth now. Detroit was bankrupted and many other American cities are right behind.

This union gig is up. They only work when government isn't allowed to go bankrupt.
12/15/2013 6:22:35 PM
whatelseisnew says:
If a company can get away with paying an employee a nickel an hour they would just to fill their own pockets! Unions use to be great at making wages worthwhile for employees but even they are under pressure trying to make new hires start much below what was set in the past, unions are selling out too often. They like their dues but won't stand behind you like they once did.

Now people can cry about unions ruining work places and minimum wage people should just be "happy" to work but when EVERYTHING has gone up and $10.25 is still status quo that is a problem.

Ever wonder why middle class stores died out? Think about it for a minute. You shop at The Bay, Holt Renfrew, or you shop at Walmart. Cue the people "you should have got an education if you wanted a better life"

We are not a 3rd world country here! Minimum wage should be no less than $15.00 and if companies cry that they can't pay or they will go broke maybe the managers and owners should take a pay cut for a change.
12/15/2013 11:38:21 AM
StinkyFeet says:
I know (and work with) many people who have completed their programs at the college or university and they cannot find work within their fields, so to pay off the pile of student debt (side note to the baby boomers - how much debt did you have when you started out on your own?) they get stuck at some minimum wage job trying to survive. yeah go get more schooling, acquire MORE debt and then STILL have to work at some crap job is the answer you folk have???
12/15/2013 1:07:46 PM
musicferret says:
While I agree with the issue of inflation in terms of minimum wage (Really, why are the two not indexed!?), you can't just go from $10.25 to $14 within a couple years when economic growth is stagnant at best and real wages are shrinking for most people.
It would destroy small businesses. Completely. There would be mass firings, and reductions of hours for so many businesses. Also, it wouldn't be just those offering minimum wage, but those offering $3-5 above minimum wage. They would all suddenly find themselves paying minimum wage, whereas they used to pay well above. They would also be forced to up the pay of their employees or lose them.

And on and on. It would be an absolute economic disaster. $10.25 should have been tied to inflation when it was brought in, and should now be around $10.73. $14? Not smart. A pipe dream that ignores reality and how labour market and compensation theory works.
12/15/2013 1:42:57 PM
captain says:
People calling for an increase in minimum wage need a reality check.

So what's next, increasing the price of my double double by a nickel. Increasing my honey cruller by 7 cents or my double expresso latte with chocolate, whipped cream and sprinkles from $6 to $6.10. Or worse, having to pay 2 cents more for my made in China everything from Wally World. Do you realize what that will do to my standard of living.

We are the entitled group.

I want cheap gas while I pay 3 bucks for water.

I want cheap fast food while I pay 8 bucks for a 25 cent bag of popcorn at the theatre. We are the chosen ones.

How about this for the chosen ones

How about an increase to adult minimum wage rates to $11.00 per hour and increase that amount by .25% more/year than the cost of living for the next 10 years to increase the gap a bit more than inflation.

Allow those making the least to catch up a little.

Or are all of you self righteous folks so uncaring about anyone but yourselves.

You disgust me.
12/15/2013 2:49:25 PM
Tbaybmkr says:
Some of you seem to want to go back in time...

12/16/2013 9:07:23 AM
Dockboy says:
Our government could help the situation out not just by raising the minimum wage. It could pass a law telling corporations that a certain percent of their workforce must be full time employee's. Some of these businesses today have no full time employee's, all part time. This has to stop!
12/16/2013 9:14:55 AM
yqtyqt says:
Therein lies the double standard of today. Everyone wants cheap everything. Witness the success of Walmart, the USA shoppers, the fast food restaurants, the international food markets, the goods made in china. Buy fruit and veggies from Mexico, S America, Africa, etc, because its cheaper.

I feel for the people holding McJobs. They want to work, but the economies of Canada/Ont. are against them. We live in a world market. Make no mistake about it. The chances of Canadians buying at home, earning a living at home, enjoying the comfort and social programs at home, has just met the crossroads.

The lifestyle that we enjoy, the pensions and health care we consume, the relative peace that we expect, come with a price.

Our expectations that if we work hard, we can get ahead are being eroded by taxes, plant closures, and poor govt fiscal management.

For those who believe that there is a free ride from the govt waiting for them, then the future holds little hope. Buy Canadian folks.
12/16/2013 9:44:23 AM
ou812 says:
The minimum wage is fine where it is. I would say that many of these so called greedy corporations probably give raises with experience and competence. I worked at a few as a student.

Also, people that find themselves working for minimum wage should give themselves a reality check. Think about it. Maybe having children is not a good idea when you can't afford to give them a decent meal everyday. Get yourself out of a minimum wage job, get yourself a little more comfortable financially and them reproduce.
12/16/2013 9:52:33 AM
t-bomb says:
supply and demand. simple as that. people are willing to work for min wage. Then people will hire for min wage.
I live in Calgary now where the min wage is less than 10/hr but I can tell you that alot of the jobs in fastfood ect.. are making more than that. 20 something admin assitants make 50,000+ yr last employed as a hair dresser (no experance/education nessary). Some folks think that there is too high of cost of living out west but I have looked into Thunder Bay and the reaility its not any cheaper once you pay HST (triple), property tax (double or triple), utilities (double), price at the gas pump(101.9 as of yesterday). The housing prices are staring to come in line with out west too. I repeat supply and demand!
12/16/2013 12:21:41 PM
starbright says:
I work hard for what I make, but I know that there are a lot of professionals who don't make a desent wage for all the stuff they do.

There are people who are working on minimm wage that work very hard for their wage and are having a hard time making it by or working paycheck to paycheck. However there are a lot of people who are just sitting there, talking on their cell phones, socializing and ignoring people, and just not doing there jobs. These people in my opinion have no work ethic. Why should these people get more money?

Also, what about those people who are on WSIB or disability. Will their incomes increase with an increase to minimum wage? I know that there are a lot of people who got hurt at work that are also struggling. What about them!!
12/16/2013 2:10:53 PM
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