The Manitoba Federation of Labour says that the Pallister Government is failing Manitobans when it comes to minimum wage, and violating Charter rights with it’s public sector wage freeze.
MFL president Kevin Rebeck spoke to Arctic Radio News and said that when it comes to minimum wage, the $0.20 increase that came at the start of October just isn’t enough.
Rebeck said that the solution is to pay a living wage, but that he understands that actually paying one isn’t simple.
He said that one solution is to raise minimum wage to $15/hour, or “a substantial increase more than $0.20”. Rebeck said that paying a living wage will not only help people get by, but it will help create an environment where people are happy and proud to go to work.
Rebeck also spoke on a law passed by the PC government, which he says limits unionized public sector workers to negotiate at best a 0.751% increase in total compensation over a rolling four year period.
He said that the law is a violation of Charter rights, and that the government might have a goal of saving money, but that that isn’t at the root of the issue.
Rebeck said that the main issue they take with the freeze is that it eliminates the ability to sit down and talk to problem solve together. He said that unions have negated zeros in the past, but they did that by meeting with managers and employers to work out things like common ground and tradeoffs.
Rebeck said that the law is “really disappointing”, and that they’re taking the Province to court next November.