OTTAWA – With working people seeing their wages fall behind inflation, and everyday essentially getting more and more expensive, Canadians are looking for urgent action to help.
Canada’s unions are looking to parliament’s return next week for measures to make life more affordable, including investments to make housing more affordable, immediate implementation of pharmacare to lower the price of medicines, and agreements with every province and territory to bring down the costs of child care.
“The cost of living is skyrocketing and workers and their families are feeling the brunt of it,” said Bea Bruske, President of the Canadian Labour Congress. “While some companies are making gigantic pandemic profits – yet now talking about passing on higher costs to everyday people – elected officials must stay focussed on helping working people and their families who are the ones suffering the most.”
Many workers face minimum wages that have fallen far behind a living wage. While others are suffering under legislated wage freezes or caps – including in Alberta, Ontario and Manitoba – where low single-digit wage increases combined with inflation surging over 4% translates into lower real wages for workers.
“Governments must immediately raise minimum wages to a living wage and rescind unfair wage freezes and caps. Having what amounts to legislated pay cuts imposed on so many workers is meanspirited,” said Bruske.
“The fact is, we do not know how long this inflation surge will last or how bumpy the road to economic recovery will be. Cleary the answer isn’t slashing taxes for the wealthy, as Conservatives always do. We need our governments acting as leaders in creating good jobs with fair wages, real benefits and better working conditions.”
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