CAW Inspired Fight For $10 Minimum Wage
November 16, 2006
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When she was an assistant to the Canadian Auto Workers' national president, Peggy Nash played a key role in the CAW's fight to get the minimum wage increased. As the NDP MP for Parkdale High Park, Nash has now taken that fight to the House of Commons, by introducing a private members Bill to establish a federal $10 an hour minimum wage.
"Unless you are making at least $10 an hour as a single person you are below the poverty level. To me it is not only offensive it's illogical that somebody could work 40 hours a week, 52 weeks of the year and still fall below the poverty line. It makes no sense."
Nash says the research shows that small business doesn't object to paying fair wages and the large multinationals like Wal-Mart, McDonalds, and Tim Horton's will adjust.
"If the laws of the land say they have to pay people a wage that gets them to the poverty level, they'll still make a lot of money and they will be able to do that and the benefit is that when people make that extra bit of money that goes right back into the economy because people need that basic wage to live."
As she works to build support, Nash is optimistic.
"My job is to go to work and try to build all party support for that and see how far we get with this. In a minority government we have a greater chance of seeing something like this pass."
But, Nash adds, she needs help from CAW members and workers across the country.
"What is important is for CAW members and the labour movement, right across the country, to get in touch with their member of parliament and say this is something that we believe in, we want you to support this private members bill and it does make a big difference."
CAW "Fighting Back Makes a Difference."