Federal minimum wage recommended


scabs
#1
A federal minimum wage and fairer treatment of temporary, part-time and contract workers are among Canada Labour Code reforms recommended Monday in a report by the head of a two-year, $3.1-million federal inquiry. Harry Arthurs, a law professor and labour mediator who headed the inquiry, called for an update of 40-year-old minimum labour standards and for a tune-up of the system used to ensure employers comply with rules requiring "decency at work."
He said many disputes could be headed off with the simple act of employers giving new workers a written notice setting out their rates of pay, hours of work, general holidays, annual vacations and conditions of work. He proposed to require that by law.
A survey for the inquiry found more than one in 10 employers covered by the code failed to provide three weeks of vacation to employees with 10 years of service, even though they are entitled after six years; and that more than half sometimes provided compensation for overtime in the form of time off rather than premium pay as the law requires.
Arthurs did not set a dollar figure for a federal minimum wage, but said he had received many submissions recommending $10 an hour. New Democratic Party MP Peggy Nash introduced a private member's bill for a $10 minimum wage in Parliament as he spoke at a news conference.
"The government should accept the principle that no Canadian worker should work full-time for a year and still live in poverty," the Arthurs report said. "This is an issue of fundamental decency that no modern, prosperous country like Canada can ignore."
His report contains 172 recommendations, ranging from equal pay for part-time and temporary workers who perform the same work as permanent and full-time employees to a requirement that would hold temporary worker placement agencies liable when a client does not pay wages or benefits.
He recommended "flexibility" to allow people to find balance between work and family. He said maternity, parental and compassionate care leave should be flexible and employers should allow more latitude if an employee has an emergency.
However, Arthurs rejected proposals that would force employers to pay overtime rates to managers, superintendents and professionals and to allow those senior categories of workers to refuse overtime work. He said so many people are "so deeply committed to the culture of long hours" that regulation won't work. The impact of burnout on business and families will eventually change attitudes, he predicted, laying the groundwork for regulation.
His recommendations cover some 12,000 enterprises and 840,000 workers in federally regulated industries: banking, telecommunications, broadcasting, postal services, airlines, trucking and some jobs at airports, seaports, grain handling facilities, nuclear facilities and First Nations governments.
While many of the workers are unionized and enjoy above-average pay and benefits, more than half are not unionized. Arthurs said in an interview he found pockets of disadvantaged workers in trucking, First Nations governments, courier companies, airport screening and employees of small business.
"I have tried to introduce the idea of sectoral standards to address the particular problems of these pockets of people," he said. "One size does not fit all."
The report was submitted to Labour Minister Jean-Pierre Blackburn who pledged to consult with employer and employee organizations and provincial labour ministers before proceeding with reforms.
The minimum wages of federally regulated workers are set at the rate of the province in which they work and those rates are below the poverty line in most jurisdictions, the report said. Provincial minimum wages as of June 2006 ranged from a low of $6.75 in Newfoundland to a high of $8 in British Columbia.
Arthurs proposed the establishment of "benefits banks" _ through government or private insurance companies _ so that temporary, part-time, agency, self-employed workers and small business owners could accumulate entitlement to drug and dental plans or pensions and other benefits.
He said he tried to strike a balance between business groups which generally favour less regulation in the work place and workers who favour more. He called for "flexibility" by employers and employees.
His report was welcomed by Ken Georgetti, president of the Canadian Labour Congress, as a "practical and overdue" basis for adapting the Labour Code to fit modern times.




What does everyone think about this? Good idea or bad? Why?
 
Gonzo
#2
I think when you have owners of companies making millions of dollars they should pay there employees a decent wage. It's stupid that minimum wage is below the poverty line. It's been proven that when you pay your employees a decent wage, give them sick leave, and benifits, production and quality of work go up. If people have no sick leave, they come to work, dont work hard, and give everyone else at work their cold.
I used to live in Victoria. The hospitals through BC privatized food services and house keeping, cutting peoples wages in half. In the nursing homes the residents started to loose weight because the food was made cheaply and poorly, and the hospitals became more dirty. People only considered it a for now job because they couldn't live of those wages. They took no pride in their work because obviously they werent valued employees.
 
The conductor
#3
How true. You cut into people's quality of life and what do you get. You get what you pay for. A national minimum wage of 10 dollars per hour is a good start.
Benefits, sick time and etc should also be put in place. There should be certain requirements so that people will not abuse it.
 
Kreskin
#4
Perhaps if we are to have minimum pay scales to protect wages in a surplus labour market maybe we should have maximum pay rates during labour shortages. Even the professional sports leagues have wage caps. How can we expect business to accept all the risk and provide assurances on pay rates when they get no assurances in return when they need it?
 
Tonington
#5
Or we could talk about wage fairness in relation to a CEO and their employees. I know a guy in Florida who worked as a systems analyst. The CEO had the company ship out a new system, 3 weeks before it was finished to keep quarterly earnings high, then 5 months later he splits with a massive bonus plus incentives, stock options, blah blah. Or the CEO who comes in and has massive layoffs, essentially does the same thing as scenario A and leaves before the economic impact hits the stock value, goes to a new company to screw over others.
 
#juan
#6
The big thing wrong with a minimum wage is that it can soon become the maximum wage. When a person can work eight hours a day for five days a week and still not have enough to live on, it is wrong. We should not be allowing this to go on, even if it means the price of a Big Mac goes up to ten dollars.
 
Colpy
#7
Quote: Originally Posted by #juan View Post

The big thing wrong with a minimum wage is that it can soon become the maximum wage. When a person can work eight hours a day for five days a week and still not have enough to live on, it is wrong. We should not be allowing this to go on, even if it means the price of a Big Mac goes up to ten dollars.

I am tempted to agree.

As well, the tendency of companies to avoid any responsibility for their employees (in other words, to not pay benefits) by using only a disproportionate number of part-time employees should be checked. The Netherlands succeeded in fixing this by simply legislating that benefits had to be paid for ALL employees. It also fines employers that work employees more than a regulated number of hours per week.

This society is growing ever wealthier. Unfortunately, new wealth is flowing disproportionately into the pockets of the already well-to-do.

I read once that in 1960, a CEO was apt to make 10 times what his lowest paid full-time employee made. In other words, if your cleaning person made 18,000 dollars a year, the CEO made about $i80,000.

By 2000, a CEO was apt to make 115 times what his lowest paid employee made...............same situation, cleaning staff makes 18,000 per annum, CEO makes TWO MILLION!

Obscene.
 
Kreskin
#8
The minimum wage is fairly irrelevant these days and will only become less relevant. The demand for labour is rising quick and will increase in the coming years. Benefits are more of a concern than wages, but hopefully that too will be rectified as employers compete for employees.

I went to zero wage this year. 100% commission. The best thing I ever did.
 
#juan
#9
Quote: Originally Posted by Colpy View Post

I am tempted to agree.

As well, the tendency of companies to avoid any responsibility for their employees (in other words, to not pay benefits) by using only a disproportionate number of part-time employees should be checked. The Netherlands succeeded in fixing this by simply legislating that benefits had to be paid for ALL employees. It also fines employers that work employees more than a regulated number of hours per week.

This society is growing ever wealthier. Unfortunately, new wealth is flowing disproportionately into the pockets of the already well-to-do.

I read once that in 1960, a CEO was apt to make 10 times what his lowest paid full-time employee made. In other words, if your cleaning person made 18,000 dollars a year, the CEO made about $i80,000.

By 2000, a CEO was apt to make 115 times what his lowest paid employee made...............same situation, cleaning staff makes 18,000 per annum, CEO makes TWO MILLION!

Obscene.

Exactly. There have been some horror stories out of the states where manufacturing companies have dumped labour intensive production off-shore, and laid off large numbers of workers. The bulk of the saving went directly into the pockets of the upper management. This has no doubt happened in Canada as well.
 
tamarin
#10
Well, whatever is done we can't be too out of whack with American policy. Canada is leaking jobs. Healthy job numbers never surprise; they're inevitably low end and often contract. Locally, in the Peterborough area, it's been one major factory closing after another for the last ten years. A worker from Master Cabinets, a US subsidiary employing 250 workers and soon to close to consolidate south of the border, was in yesterday's Sound Off in the Examiner. He said it all: social services better up its budget because we're all soon gonna be unemployed!
Canada can't execute key worker legislation in isolation. Given so much of the country's leading industry has been expatriated now we're really not in a position to tell anyone anything.
 
Calberty
#11
Dead. Quebec (rightly so) will not allow the feds to stick their dirty sticky fingers into this area of provincial jurisdiction.

Dead. Get over 'Ottawa knows best'.
 

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