On May 15, campaigners for a minimum hourly wage of $15 were out in the streets in a number of cities and towns in British Columbia, with the message that paying low-wage workers more benefits us all.
Ricochet correspondent Nicky Young spoke with organizers of the Fight for 15 in Vancouver, where the minimum wage remains at $10.25 despite the exorbitant cost of housing. The BC Federation of Labour backs the campaign in the province.
With an increased minimum wage, working people would have more money to spend in their communities, says campaigner Lisa Descary.
“They don’t usually put it in offshore accounts. They actually spend it all locally.”
The Fight for 15 campaign has been picking up momentum in Canada and the United States, with labour movements and grassroots organizers backing the demand.
Last year, the movement got a huge boost after socialist city councillor Kshama Sawant led and won a campaign to have Seattle implement the $15 minimum wage. More recently, Alberta’s incoming NDP premier, Rachel Notley, promised to do the same during her victorious election campaign against the province’s Conservative dynasty.