August 18, 2022
Statement by Manitoba Federation of Labour President Kevin Rebeck in response to the Stefanson government’s planned minimum wage increase:
No one should work full-time but still live in poverty. But that is the reality for thousands of workers in our province because the Stefanson government has kept our minimum wage far too low for workers to be able to make ends meet.
Working families who rely on minimum wage work were looking for a much higher increase to Manitoba’s minimum wage today. Instead, the Stefanson government has decided that Manitoba should go from having the second-lowest minimum wage in the country right now to staying the second-lowest minimum wage in the country on October 1. The planned minimum wage of $13.50 this year will fall well short of what working families need to make ends meet.
All working families are concerned about the crushing increases in the cost of living with the price jump at the gas pumps and the grocery stores hitting low-wage workers particularly hard.
The Stefanson government had claimed it wanted to consult with employers and workers on what the minimum wage should be, and the MFL advocated for $16.15 based on the last available calculation of a living wage. It is unfortunate that the Stefanson government has decided to side with what employers lobbied for instead of what working families need.
We think Manitoba workers are worth more, and that is why Manitoba’s unions will continue to advocate that our minimum wage should be a living wage so that everyone who works full-time on minimum wage lives above the poverty line.