Why Do We Need An Increase In Minimum Wage?

Printable version: Why Do We Need An Increase In Minimum Wage 20160209 – Final

If a decent life is our right, then our government should guarantee the income necessary to attain that basic standard of living. In the case of Quebec, setting the minimum wage is the provincial government’s responsibility. Therefore, the realities of daily life necessities should be reflected in the minimum wage that is guaranteed to all workers as a basic right protected by law.

In our current economic system, the rich benefit from the unfair distribution of resources.  This system not only influences the amount workers are paid, but also contributes to the division of wealth within society.

$15 per hour is necessary for a decent life!

There are people living below the poverty line, even though they are working full-time.

In fact, in 2012, 5.8% of Quebec workers were living below the poverty line. It is impossible to deny that the existing minimum wage of $10.55 per hour cannot sustain a standard of living above the poverty line.

This situation is only getting worse!  For example, in Montreal, the price of the OPUS public transit card increased from $16 in 1980 to $82 in 2015.  The minimum wage was $3.65 per hour in 1980 and is now $10.55 per hour in 2016.  In order to afford an OPUS public transit card in 1980, a worker would have to work for four hours compared to now, workers have to work nearly 8 hours. This demonstrates that the minimum wage has not increased at the same rate as the cost-of-living in Quebec.

Researchers have proven that a minimum wage of $15 per hour is absolutely fundamental to attain a decent life in Montreal and Quebec City (IRIS: a research institute of Quebec). In short, a $15 minimum hourly wage is neither a luxury nor a lofty goal, but imperative for survival and should be included as a fundamental right for all workers


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