CAW joins International Women's Day March For $10 Minimum Wage
March 10, 2007
Please note that you will need a copy of Windows Media Player installed on your computer in order to view the following video file(s).
Canadian Auto Workers union activists joined in the massive International Women's Day march through downtown Toronto March 10th, demanding the federal and provincial governments enact a $10 Minimum Wage Law for workers.
Carol Phillips, assistant to CAW national president Buzz Hargrove said increasing the minimum wage is the first step to giving women economic freedom.
Assistant to National President
"The demand for a minimum wage of $10 an hour has taken off and ignited people's enthusiasm across the country. It is just so clearly a social justice issue and people are getting on board at the provincial level and the federal level to support the $10 minimum wage campaign."
Earlier in the day women gathered for a breakfast meeting catered to by their union brothers.
"What do we want sisters and brothers?" "Ten dollars!" "Now do we want it in four years, in three years in two years, in one year in six months? When do we want it? Now!"
NDP MP for Parkdale High Park, Peggy Nash, author of the $10 Minimum Wage private-members Bill in Ottawa urged women to lobby their local MPs.
"The majority of low wage workers are women. Many are supporting families and it is impossible to make ends meet. We see the results everyday at food banks and drop-in shelters. I certainly see it in my riding in Parkdale. Also disproportionately affected are new comers to Canada and people of colour and it is a disgrace in a country that pretends to be democratic and supports human rights that we don't have full economic rights, and treat people fairly in this country."
CAW National Executive Board member Christine Connor said increasing the minimum wage will affect all workers, union as well as unorganized workers.
CAW National Executive Board
"We have over 14,000 members in our local, of which 73 % are women. Out of that percentage I would say roughly 60-63% are part time workers, working for $8 an hour. With the women they are usually working two to three part time jobs in order to maintain their bills and put food on the table for their children. So with our local it is a key issue."
CAW "Fighting Back Makes a Difference."