FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 1, 2020
Lowest minimum wage in Canada increases to lowest minimum wage in Canada
Today, minimum wage earners in Saskatchewan will receive a “raise,” going from earning the least in Canada to…still earning the least in Canada. Announced in June, today’s increase of thirteen cents will see the minimum wage adjusted for inflation, from the staggeringly low rate of $11.32 to the staggeringly low rate of $11.45- the lowest minimum wage in all of the provinces and territories.
“Today’s so-called increase is an embarrassment,” said Saskatchewan Federation of Labour (SFL) President Lori Johb. “At a time when we need to be working to stimulate our economy and invest in our communities as the province works to recover from COVID-19, anything less than $15 an hour is simply not enough. Workers are worth more than thirteen cents.”
Johb noted that COVID-19 has shown that raises for minimum wage workers are possible, and could be implemented immediately.
“At the start of the pandemic, many of the large corporations that employ minimum wage earners announced ‘hero pay’ for their workers- increasing their wages by several dollars per hour. Now, those raises have been taken away, while the same corporations make billions in profits and frontline workers continue to risk their health and safety.”
With the provincial election campaign currently underway, Johb said that she hopes the issue will come up on the campaign trail, and that political leaders will commit to implementing a $15 an hour minimum wage in the province as soon as possible.
“Workers shouldn’t have to work full time and still struggle to make ends meet. We need to elect a government who will put workers first and finally increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour.”
Minimum wage facts:
- Saskatchewan has the worst minimum wage in the country, and will continue to do so after the recent announcement;
- 60% of minimum wage earners in Saskatchewan are over 19 years of age;
- Large corporations are the most significant employers of minimum wage earners and workers earning less than $15 per hour – not small businesses. Large corporations can easily afford to pay at least $15 per hour;
- Studies of jurisdictions that have raised the minimum wage to $15 per hour, or near it, have consistency shown an increase in jobs – including in the service and hospitality sectors – and an overall increase in local economic growth.