‘Minimum wage is a poverty wage’: Rally calls for hike to $15/hour in Manitoba

On September 19, 2017, community and union members joined together to tell the Pallister Government to increase the minimum wage to $15-an-hour at a rally hosted by the Manitoba Federation of Labour and Make Poverty History Manitoba.

Far too many Manitoba workers are unable to meet ends meet even though they have a job, because Manitoba’s minimum wage of $11-an-hour is a poverty wage. That is just not fair. As MFL President Kevin Rebeck said at the rally, “no one working full-time should have to live in poverty.”

Nicole Dvorak, a minimum wage worker, shared her story and the challenges that her co-workers face to meet basic needs like rent, groceries, and other essential costs by working full-time at the current minimum wage.

Manitoba NDP leader Wab Kinew committed that if elected in 2020, an NDP government would increase the minimum wage to a living wage over the course of its first term. Liberal MLA for River Heights Jon Gerrard also supported the need to increase the minimum wage.

Even though they were invited, no member of the Pallister Government showed up to speak. That’s not surprising.

After the Pallister Government left minimum wage workers $400 poorer by freezing the wage last year, it is set to increase by only 15 cents on October 1st. That just isn’t good enough.