Terry Barga (far left) was one of the demonstrators along Memorial Avenue on Saturday to voice their encouragement for raising the provincial minimum wage to $14 per hour.
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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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