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April 11, 2018

MFL News

Manitobans deserve a $15 minimum wage

Originally published in the Winnipeg Free Press 

No one should work full time and have to live in poverty. But, that is exactly what is happening to thousands of Manitoba workers because our minimum wage is a poverty wage. Having a job and working full time should be a path out of poverty, not a poverty trap, plain and simple.

The governments of Alberta, Ontario and British Columbia have already committed to increasing their minimum wage to $15 per hour. It’s time our province got on board, too.

Contrary to the myths pushed by right-wing think tanks, the evidence is clear two-thirds of the workers who earn a minimum wage are adults, and the majority are women. Keeping Manitoba’s minimum wage at poverty-wage levels means it leaves more women in poverty. It also contributes to Manitoba’s child-poverty problem.

Only 37 per cent of minimum-wage workers are students, who often need to work multiple jobs just to pay the bills. This is especially true now the Pallister government is allowing tuition fees to skyrocket.

And despite the notion most minimum-wage earners work at mom-and-pop stores struggling to survive, the evidence shows the majority of minimum-wage workers work at big businesses with more than 100 employees.

Many minimum-wage workers are moms and dads, everyday Manitobans who are working hard and trying to make ends meet.

That is why Manitoba’s labour movement stands in support of making the minimum wage a living wage at $15 per hour. Manitoba’s minimum wage of $11.15 per hour is not enough to lift those working for it out of poverty.

So far, the Pallister government has been nothing but a disappointment for minimum-wage workers. In its first year in power, it froze the minimum wage, leaving workers $400-a-year poorer because the wage didn’t keep up with the increase in the cost of living. Since then, the government passed legislation which keeps these workers trapped in poverty through paltry increases to the wage.

Last fall, the minimum wage only rose by a nickel and a dime. Working Manitobans earning a minimum wage deserve better. They deserve a path out of poverty.

Keeping the minimum wage at poverty levels forces families to make difficult decisions between paying the rent, buying groceries, or purchasing school supplies for their kids, paying for bus fare and other essential things.

But a phased-in increase to the minimum wage up to $15 per hour would have a positive impact on the economy, as minimum-wage earners spend the greatest proportion of their income on consumer goods and services, mostly in the local economy.

Ask any small-business owner what they need to grow their business, and they’ll tell you it’s important to have customers with money in their pockets to spend.

When employers pay poverty wages, greater financial pressure is placed on government to support families to make ends meet. By paying a living wage, employers assume their fair share of this responsibility.

All workers should be guaranteed a minimum wage which is a living wage. The time has come to tell the Pallister government $15 is fair.

Kevin Rebeck is president of the Manitoba Federation of Labour.



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March 12, 2018

MFL News

Pallister government's Budget 2018 a disappointment for working families

At a time when Manitoba’s economy is slowing down, the Pallister government’s budget is a missed opportunity to protect services and create jobs for families in our province.

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March 7, 2018

MFL News

2018 Al Cerilli Scholarship

Applications are now being accepted for the 2018 Al Cerilli Manitoba Federation of Labour Scholarship. The scholarship is a $500 award presented annually by the MFL Young Members Committee to a member of an MFL affiliated union enrolled in a continuing education or post-secondary program.

For more information about the scholarship and to download the application form, click here.


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February 5, 2018


Province's prints all over labour fiasco

So, who’s going to write the cheque?

The Manitoba Labour Board ruled this week that the University of Manitoba engaged in unfair labour practices during bargaining with its faculty association (UMFA) in 2016. The independent tribunal said U of M bargained in bad faith when it followed an order from the Pallister government not to tell UMFA that the province was imposing a one-year wage freeze on public-sector workers as part of its ongoing cost-cutting campaign.

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January 31, 2018

MFL News


(WINNIPEG) The University of Manitoba Faculty Association (UMFA) is pleased with a ruling from the Manitoba Labour Board that has determined the University of Manitoba acted unfairly in bargaining during the fall of 2016. By following secretive directives from the Pallister government, the University of Manitoba was found by the Labour Board to have acted illegally and has been ordered to pay up to $2.4 million in damages and issue a formal apology for its actions, UMFA president Janet Morrill announced today.

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October 20, 2017

MFL News

Public sector unions file notice of motion for injunction against unconstitutional labour law

(WINNIPEG) Today the Partnership to Defend Public Services (PDPS), representing more than 110,000 Manitoba workers, filed a notice of motion for the injunction it is seeking against the so-called Public Services Sustainability Act, passed by the Pallister government.


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September 20, 2017

MFL News

Manitobans join together to rally for a living wage

Nearly 100 people gathered at the steps of the Manitoba Legislature yesterday to call on the Pallister Government to take immediate steps to increase Manitoba's minimum wage to $15-an-hour over the next three years at a rally organized by the Manitoba Federation of Labour and Make Poverty History Manitoba.

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September 1, 2017

General Story

Tories' law undermines labour rights

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MFL News

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Winnipeg Airport Strike Alert - distributed on behalf of PSAC:


Winnipeg, MB – A strike will begin at the Winnipeg Airport Monday morning (July 24, 2017) at 3:00am, unless the employer tables an acceptable offer overnight.

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July 4, 2017


Public-sector unions file for injunction against heavy-handed new labour law

Today the Partnership to Defend Public Services, representing more than 110,000 Manitoba workers, filed for an injunction against the so-called Public Services Sustainability Act, recently passed by the Pallister government.

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