Concern is growing that the new provincial government might not be moving forward with a minimum wage increase to $15 an hour starting January 2019, as promised under Kathleen Wynne’s Liberal government.
Nipissing Decent Work has organized a "$15 and Fairness" blitz, canvassing people to sign the “Hands Off Our Rights” petition.
Spokesperson Jared Hunt says Nipissing Decent Work is a new organization started by a group of concerned citizens from the area.
“Our mandate is to promote decent work concepts, initiatives and organizations that promote restoring dignity with frontline workers, minimum wage workers and kind of adjusting the channel a little bit to talk about poverty and low wage employment as a social issue, not just an economic issue.”
Hunt says the petition campaign is a collaborative effort.
“It’s run through the Ontario Federation of Labour, and here in North Bay it’s the North Bay and District Labour Council,” said Hunt.
“Organizers of the $15 and Fairness campaign are asking Premier Doug Ford, Minister of Finance Vic Fedeli and the rest of the PC government to leave recent changes to the labour law alone, to keep the legislated rights of workers intact, including the legal increase of the minimum wage to $15.”
Micheal Dobson is trying to collect 1,000 signatures locally.
“We’re asking people to sign our $15 minimum wage petition. Premier Doug Ford has gone on the record during the campaign and after the campaign that he wants to do away with our $15 an hour increase for minimum wage. So the petition states ‘hands off the $15 minimum wage.’ There’s proof stating that the increase in minimum wage up to $14 an hour did not hurt the economy the way it was predicted,” said Dobson.
“The petition will get sent to Queen’s Park. There are similar campaigns going on across the province. We’re making the petition available through workplaces, and we’re going to be at the Labour Day Picnic at the waterfront on Monday, hosted by the North Bay and District Labour Council.”