En route to the$ 15 per hour

En route vers les 15$ l’heure

Photo: Annik MH de Carufel Le Devoir
The announcement by the minister Boulet also has the effect of pre-empt at least a year the achievement of the 50% of the average hourly wage, encrypted by Quebec at$ 25 in 2018.

Quebec was somewhat surprised by maintaining the high frame rate of the increase in the minimum wage. The $ 15 per hour, however, remain a target far beyond the radar of the government Legault.

The minister of Labour, Jean Boulet, announced on Wednesday an increase of 50 ¢ in the minimum wage, which will rise to 12.50 per hour for employees in the next may. In immediate response, the employer has eyebrow to the increase of 4.2 %, far higher than increases in general wage planned for 2019 2.6 % according to the data of the Conseil du patronat du Québec. To the extent that it is added to that of 6.7 % last year, 4.7% may 1, 2017.

The pace of the last few years is indeed accelerated, but it fits in a context of catching-up, the relevance of which is validated by favorable economic conditions. He succeeds at growth rates below 2 %, indeed more close to inflation, but reflecting a minimum wage that has been stagnant over a period of forty years when calculated in constant dollars, has already concluded Statistics Canada. And before 2017, at the most, the purchasing power of these employees has been protected, as measured by the index of consumer prices, but depleted when the registry the impact of the increase of fees and charges.

The announcement by the minister Boulet also has the effect of pre-empt at least a year the achievement of the 50% of the average hourly wage, encrypted by Quebec at $ 25 in 2018, a tiedown that the previous government had also adopted. But with respect to the target, like the liberals, François Legault has always expressed its opposition to the policy of the minimum wage to $ 15 per hour. Still like the previous government, we prefer to make the achievement of $ 15 to the general growth of progressive wages.

And Mr. Legault can draw, here, of Ontario. “The new ontario government’s conservative Doug Ford has cancelled the increase in the minimum wage to $ 15 per hour provided for by [the previous government] to January 1, 2019, on the pretext that the increase to $ 14 per that occurred in January 2018 had negative impacts on the economy and employment “, we are reminded of the Institute of research and socioeconomic information (IRIS). An assertion contradicted, however, by the observations of the researcher Philippe Hurteau. “There has been no decrease in the number of hours worked, or loss of employment or reduction of school attendance in 2018, after an increase of more than $ 2 per hour in the minimum wage “, in Ontario.

Alberta has been there since October and British Columbia aims 2021. In the United States, the arguments of the proponents of a minimum wage to US $15 an hour is gaining momentum, fuelled by the observations of the international monetary Fund. Worrying to see that one American in seven lives in poverty while 40 % of them work, the IMF would add to the stimulation of employment the importance of encouraging better-paid jobs, particularly those at the bottom of the scale. The institution was based on a grim reality, nourished by the fall of the labour-force participation, low productivity gains, the increasing polarization of income and wealth and the growing poverty.

For her part, IRIS has conducted two years ago, the year around the concept of wage-viable calculated according to the cost of living and the regional realities, linking the minimum wage to the relative subjectivity of a decent wage to meet the basic needs. To encrypt the quebec average at 15,10 per hour for a full-time job of 37.5 hours per week. And to emphasize broad traits that more than one-quarter of the employees of quebec, working under the $ 15 per hour, received the qualifier of poor workers.

With respect to the impact on the whole of the wage scale, the analyses are numerous, demonstrating that in the face of the proliferation of lower paying jobs, changes in policies on the minimum wage had acted as a softener for the people in the lower levels. And if we see further than the prism too small of a setting the minimum wage to the rank of a tool used in the fight against poverty, instead he takes the form of an instrument in the fight against inequality. However, despite the adjustments made, the Organization of economic cooperation and development continually reminds us that income inequality remains at record levels. That the widening of these inequalities remains at the top of the list of major risks confronting the social stability and economic development.


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