Minimum wage debate rages on

Ontario’s rate rising 75 cents to $11 per hour – but can employers afford it?
By Liz Foster
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 02/25/2014

A teenager flipping burgers at the local fast food joint — that image is most often evoked by organizations arguing about a raise in minimum wage.

For the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB), this teen represents the typical minimum wage earner. He lives at home with his parents, is upgrading his education and will only work a minimum wage job for a fixed period of time. And while a wage hike will have no lasting effect on his life, it will have a significant impact on his employer.

For Unifor — the largest union in the private sector representing more than 300,000 Canadian workers — this teen is just a small part of the bigger picture. He is now competing for minimum wage jobs with university graduates who are moving back home when they fail to find a job in their field.