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October 27, 2017 9:20 pm

BC Fed Preaches Benefits of $15 Minimum Wage at Labour Celebration

Monday, September 5, 2016 @ 1:29 PM
Photos 250News

Photos 250News

Prince George, B.C. – Rain hasn’t deterred hundreds of people from participating in today’s Labour Day celebration at the foot of City Hall.

Organized by the Labour Day Organizing Committee and the North Central Labour Council – the festivities kicked off with a march through downtown and will continue all day with free food, music, kids’ activities and display booths.

At noon it featured a speech by Aaron Ekman, secretary-treasurer of the BC Federation of Labour, pushing the provincial government  to raise B.C.’s minimum wage to $15 an hour to help “bring working folks out of poverty.”

“There are currently half a million workers in B.C. making under $15 an hour which from my perspective is a poverty wage,” he said. “So we’ve been urging the provincial government since 2014 when we launched this campaign to do the right thing and they haven’t quite got there.”

A great turnout despite the weather

A great turnout despite the weather

Currently B.C.’s minimum wage is $10.45 an hour and will increase by 40 cents to $10.85 on September 15 yet Ekman said that’s not enough to keep up with the cost of living.

“It’s ridiculous in the Lower Mainland in terms of what people have to pay for housing but it’s not just in the Lower Mainland where it’s a problem. The further north you go the more transport costs increase,” he said.

“So food is expensive. I mean we hear reports of the really northern areas of cartons of milk going for $15 or eggs for $12 a carton.”

United Steelworkers president Frank Everitt serves up some hot dogs

United Steelworkers president Frank Everitt serves up some hot dogs

And Ekman doesn’t buy the argument from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) that raising the minimum wage kills jobs.

“They’ve said that every single time we’ve had a minimum wage campaign. They said it when we wanted the minimum wage to go up to $6 dollars an hour, when we wanted it to go up to $8 an hour,” he said.

“They said it when we called for a $10 minimum wage and predictably they’re saying it again now. And every single time their prediction that the sky was going to fall just haven’t come to pass. In fact, the economy does better in B.C. when working people make more money because they stay at their jobs longer, they become better at their jobs and they care about the work they do.”

From left, BC Federation of Labour secretary-treasurer Aaron Ekman, PGDTA secretary Tina Cousins and CUPE 3742 president Karen Wong

From left, BC Federation of Labour secretary-treasurer Aaron Ekman, PGDTA secretary Tina Cousins and CUPE 3742 president Karen Wong


OMG, three pictures in this news story and not one of them had photo op Shirley, or that Mike guy, in them. Huh, maybe we should have more Union stories?

    Correction, four (4) pictures… OMG, what a wasted opportunity! Go labour / unions. :-D

It has been so long since the ndp have been in power that they had cave painting ops. Just as it should be!

Cristy Clark 2017👍👍👍👍👍

From the article:- “And Ekman doesn’t buy the argument from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) that raising the minimum wage kills jobs.

“They’ve said that every single time we’ve had a minimum wage campaign. They said it when we wanted the minimum wage to go up to $6 dollars an hour, when we wanted it to go up to $8 an hour,” he said.

“They said it when we called for a $10 minimum wage and predictably they’re saying it again now. And every single time their prediction that the sky was going to fall just haven’t come to pass.”


So all that talk about the increase in child poverty, and the growing numbers of homeless, and the ever increasing demands on Food Banks is all just left wing hokum then? If it isn’t, how can Ekman reconcile what he’s saying about the minimum wage increases above with what others of his ilk are telling us about poverty? Or was the “sky actually falling” for more and more people as the minimum wage increased? IF all these previous increases haven’t dealt a death blow to poverty, how much would the minimum have to go up to do it? $ 20 an hour? $ 25? $ 30?
Why do I get the feeling that our unionised “brothers and sisters” are only being told half the story here from their leaders? What about the other half? Like what these increases do to prices?

    That’s a easy answer.. Prices go up ..and why is that..because of the greed of the business owners..

      Sometimes, no doubt. But most times? I don’t think so, PVal. Most businesses have to compete for the consumer’s dollar. They don’t get it if their prices are higher than their competitors’ are. Most businesses would sooner have a small profit on a large volume than vice versa. They have access to a much broader market, and repetitive customers are of enormous value to them. Can’t keep the doors open if the customers don’t keep coming back.

      To look at the ‘big picture’, there are two limits to price ~ an upper and a lower ~ and they’re governed by two separate things.

      The upper limit is governed, roughly, by the quantity of money available in the hands of the public. If that quantity increases, prices will rise until they’ve absorbed the spending of all the increase.

      We see this when governments initiate some mega-project, or for some other expansion of ‘capital goods’ where there’s a whole bunch of money coming into the hands of the public before there’s any commensurate increase in ‘consumer goods’ to absorb it all. Like during the construction of the 2010 Winter Olympics, say, or a Site C. Things that pay out dough for a long time before they have anything to ‘sell’ the public.

      The lower limit of price ~ which is far more often the ruling limit in a competitive economy ~ is governed by COST. Once price falls below cost, production ceases.

      P Val, I suggest that on one of your days off from your $100,000.00 plus job, you take some time to go talk with some business owners!

      After they tell you about the various licences and fees that they pay, after they tell you about the property taxes they pay, after they tell you about their monthly expenses, after they tell you about their wage costs and other assorted costs, perhaps they will then tell you how many hours a week they work!

      After all of this, perhaps you can tell them what you think would be a fair Rate of Return on their investment! Keep in mind that this comes only after covering all of the items (and more) that I mentioned!

      Hart guy…. Did run a business for 7 yrs.. Sold it when I moved here..so know what it takes to run a small business.

      P Val, so does that mean that you were one of those greedy business owners that you mentioned? ;-)

Happy Labour Day everyone!

ht tps://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/92/2f/56/922f5655a6af9750aa61b6c9ce67fadc.jpg

Suggesting a 30% wage increase is just sheer recklessness in my opinion. What is this figure based upon? LICO? Anything approaching a scientific analysis? Will you support a 30% increase in my wage as well to compensate for the fact that I actually have skills and experience that demands a much higher wage than someone who has no skills at all?

I guarantee, if a 30% hike in the minimum wage is instituted people will lose their jobs. A lot of small business owners couldn’t handle that kind of instant increase in their labour costs and I also guarantee that there will be blow back as people balk at sudden sharp rises in some consumer prices. Wage levels are already not sustainable, and is why we can’t compete in the global economy and are going into decline. You want to make it worse. Good thinking.

How many of those people earning that minimum wage are full-time people with limited potential to improve their economic position? A very small percentage I’m willing to bet. How many are kids just starting out in the workforce and for whom this is just a training ground for bigger and better things once they’ve paid their dues? How many are still living at home with mom and dad? All these people are not living in poverty, or we’d know about it. Once we have a quarter million homeless people, I’ll start taking stupid assertions like this seriously.

Prices out there on goods are already ridiculous. I imagine that a hike in minimum wage to 15 bucks an hour would make them more so….

Yeah, the price of clothing / garments are pretty high, yet most of those clothes are being made in Bangladesh by slave wage workers at 50 cents a day. If that isn’t bad enough working conditions there are extremely poor!

“On Friday morning, officials said a total of 1,021 bodies had been recovered from the debris of the fallen factory building in Savar. Almost 650 have so far been identified and handed over to families. Many bodies were decomposed, but could be identified by mobile phones in their pockets or staff passes, Army Captain Shahnewaz Zakaria said, adding that “most are female garment workers”.

ht tp://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-22476774

Gee at 50 cents a day, most of us are wondering why those clothes cost so much, do you have any theories Mercenary?

    It wouldn’t be very hard to theorise, JGalt. There is, first, of course, the cost of the raw materials. Some of them may come from Bangladesh, perhaps, but likely others are imported. Either way, they’re not ‘free’. Someone had to be paid. Then there’s the packaging. That might be from linerboard sourced in Canada, or perhaps it’s produced in Bangladesh, or elsewhere in Asia. Still some costs involved. Transport from there to here. More costs. Then there’s the distribution once it gets here. And getting it on the shelf in the stores. More costs. Advertising, to let the buying public know what’s for sale. More costs. Having, and staffing, a store. More costs again. The clerks might get minimum wage, but the property tax load, insurance, power bill for heat, and lights, and air conditioning, and all the regulations that have to be complied with now, are also all costs. And many of them are far from ‘minimal’. They go on 24/7, though the store may only be open part of that time. Then there’s the cost of ‘returns’. Complying with consumer protection legislation, and what the buying public has come to expect, even though it may not be in law. Yet. You wonder why the costs are so high? You should wonder that they’re not a whole lot higher. And then there’s ‘profit’. Yes, if the business does enough volume it may be profitable. But if it doesn’t? Where are the ones that didn’t? Remember their names? Bet you don’t.

      The closer the product which moves from a cheap labour country back to a modern “western” country, the higher the actual amount of the markup is in money rather than percentage.

      In a retail situation, a markup of 50% on a product provided by a distributor in the country where the final sale will occur to the customer is not uncommon.

      A $100 item from the distributer might be marked up to a $150 tagged priced.

      If it does not sell out, then it will go on sale for 10% off, then 20%, then 30% before the item is liquidated for less than the original inventory stocking price.

      The more of the inventory has to be sold at sale prices, the less the retailer has to pay all the costs associated with actually having a retail store to display and sell the products.

      Start marking the product up much over 50% then one has to look at local as well as internet competition. Of course product selection to differentiate the products in one store from those of others also makes a large difference in survivability.

      In any case, put in all the markups along the way, and the final sale price of the product will skyrocket compared to the original manufacturer’s cost of production.

    JGalt, I’d be more than willing to bet that you would be royally pissed if the value of your pension plan dropped because of lower profits for the businesses represented in your plan’s holdings!

    As a know-it-all, you should know that a business must make a profit in order to survive, and often that profit must be sufficient to satisfy the shareholders! You by virtue of the holdings in your pension plan are undoubtedly a party to the success and/or failure of many different businesses!

    What did you say that you do for a living and who pays your salary?

      You really do not expect an answer to that, do you. And if you do get one, how will you be able to tell it is not a truthful one?

      JGalt takes a page from the Trump book of disclosure. His tax accountant are still going over his reportable income from the last 15 years and will not disclose his taxes till they are finished …. in 2020 … 2025??


      I think JGalt, and a lot of others, are going to be “royally pissed off” when it comes to actually getting a payout of expected pension income deriving from corporate profits. Corporate profits have actually been in decline for a very long time, and even though they may still, in many instances, be reported higher year by year in a ‘dollar’ amount, they’re getting less and less taken as a percentage of sales. In other words, the ‘big’ have to keep getting bigger to remain profitable. Not, as is often supposed, as a matter of corporate greed, but as a matter of corporate survival.

    Fact check … always needed when JGalt presents facts!!!!
    The question is why???


    These are figures on the year book of 2010. Minimum wages are reviewed in Bangladesh every 5 years so it may have been raised since then.

    For those who manufacture ready-made garments.
    BDT 5,300/ month = 26 days and 208 hours

    That translates to today’s rate in Canadian dollars at $87.18/month $3.35/day and $0.42/hour

    When you look at the costs in Dhaka versus Prince George we get the following examples.

    Milk, 1 litre = C$1.12 versus C$1.99 in PG
    Eggs (12) = C$3.37 versus C$1.70
    Rice, white (1kg) = C$5.83 versus C$0.85
    Lettuce (1 head) = C$2.58 versus C$0.38
    Monthly rent (city) = C$775 versus C$203.62
    Utilities average monthly = C$140 versus C$51.94
    1 minute of prepaid mobile tariff (no plans) = C$0.45 versus C$0.02

    So, the actual minimum wage for those who make garments is almost 7 times as high as the figure used by JGalt.

    In addition to that the cost of living is different than it is in Canada. Considerably lower for basic needs right up to higher for the luxury items.

    There is no dispute that garment workers are not exactly the elite workers in the country. Then again, neither are they in Canada. They are typically minimum wage earners as well.

      In the list above, other than the figures for milk, the first figure is for PG and the second for Dhaka. Sorry for the error in transcribing.

      BTW, we can se once more that we have close to the highest cost of using cell phones. I wonder why they are called SMART phones. Nothing SMART about the costs.

      Is there anything we can learn from Bangladesh on that issue?

      GoPG, thankyou, that was an eye opener, good work.

“So food is expensive. I mean we hear reports of the really northern areas of cartons of milk going for $15 or eggs for $12 a carton.”

Fort Nelson is the first price in the list below

Milk – 1 litre = $2.61 …. PG=$2.99 …. Whitehorse=$2.77 ….. Iqaluit = $2.67

Eggs – 1 dozen = $4.06 …… PG=$3.37 …… Whitehorse=$4.00 …. Iqaluit= $4.10

Not all of those are in BC, of course.

Atlin, Dease Lake and Old Crow would be ones to look at. I have been to the last two, and the prices in Old Crow are high for denser products such as milk, caned goods, etc. because everything has to be flown in. There is no road connection and the population is only around 300.

Source = numbeo.com/cost-of-living

So, the “I hear” stuff is just that, useless information thrown out based on hearing rather than experiencing and based on very small, very remote locations in this world and far from the norm.

It makes no point whatsoever to people who can think for themselves and are everything but swayed by such BS. It tells me more about the person trying to make a point with useless info rather than supporting the real message.

    Regardless of the extremes, the overall rate of generation of prices in any modern industrial economy will invariably exceed the overall rate that incomes are distributed. The economy ‘carries on’ because of capital spending ~ growth, in other words ~ but growth exponential to what is actually needed, or even desired, sometimes, to meet real human needs and normal consumptive desires. This has the effect of distributing needed incomes through employment NOW, but does so by pretending they can be fully recovered in prices in the FUTURE. They can’t be. Unless the process endlessly accelerates. And the only way it can do that is through an actual massive ‘waste’ of what’s supposed to be ‘wealth’. Usually through war.

“Regardless of the extremes, the overall rate of generation of prices in any modern industrial economy will invariably exceed the overall rate that incomes are distributed”

Until there is a correction typically called a “great depression”.

Define qualitative growth rather than quantitative growth.

Has our quality of life improved of over that of 200 years ago? 100 years? 50 years? 25 years? 10 years?

As measured against???? The local scene; the national scene; the international scene?

Without those kind of mostly subjective measures, why even bother to compare?

Life expectancy in Canada was 59.1 years in 1921. In 2007 it was 80.7.

Is that a qualitative increase? In other words, do we live a better life now than we did then.

I am willing to bet that most of those posting on here now would not be here to post anymore if we did not have that “qualitative” change over time.

Doe it not feel great to be able to spend many of one’s additional years bitchin’ on here…. LOL

Interesting that amoung all the items that affect costs and profit margins and prices listed in this discussion, there is no comment on the salaries of CEOs and other executives. Do those salaries not affect prices of goods or available company profits? How come these salaries are so seldom heard about when there is a move to increase minimum wage? How come workers getting a few cents per hour increase is going to cripple the economy, but doubling or tripling of obscene CEO salaries over the last few years apparently isn’t bad for the economy, doesn’t deserve much discussion?
Is it because after the big shots have skimmed the bulk of the profits there just isn’t enough left for the little shots to get a piece of the income too?
Just wondering. Happy labor day!

    “doubling or tripling of obscene CEO salaries over the last few years apparently isn’t bad for the economy, doesn’t deserve much discussion?”

    The “obscene salaries” are the ones handpicked from the S&P 500 companies.

    The compensation packages heard about are from less than 8% of the public companies and less than 0.002% of ALL companies in the US.

    The other thing to consider that those compensation packages are primarily US companies not Canadian and not world companies.

    The link below shows a survey of 1,101 private companies in 2011. The median private company CEO in that survey earned a total compensation package of $362,900/year.

    For private companies with at least $1 billion in revenue, the median CEO compensation package totaled just under $1.7 million


    I do not think CEO’s are the problem as much as the increase in income of the top 1% as one level and 10% as another level of all income earners, whether from investments or work, and those below which has created an ever widening gap from the richest to the poorest, and especially the middle class.

    I believe that the gap is one of the changing work characteristics from brawn to brains.

    That being said, it is a statement about the average, there are still some areas where just because one has a superior education does not get one as far as someone who has “street smarts” as well as the ability to work hard physically.

    No matter what, there is a continuing widening of gap between the upper income earners and lower income workers. The “obscene” incomes of the highest paid CEOs one reads about likely have little effect other than a building up of hatred in some and envy in others who will think that they have an entitlement to those riches without toil.

      At one time there was a suggestion made that no CEO or other top executives be allowed to make more than ten times what the lowest paid employee made. An interesting idea, but it failed to gain much traction politically.

      I don’t think we should spend too much time worrying about how to deprive the top income earners of whatever they’re making. H. Ross Perot, back when he was flirting with the idea of being US President, once said that if all the billionaires in the US had all their wealth taxed away from them and the sum total taken were divided equally amongst all American citizens it would mean a one time payout of around $ 20,000 each. Nice to get, no doubt, but then what do you do for an encore? And what have you REALLY achieved?

      For the wealthy, the 1%, or whatever, don’t hold their wealth in ‘money’, ala Disney’s ‘Scrooge McDuck’ and his money bin. They hold it in ASSETS ‘valued’ in money. And just how those assets would all be turned into cash to pay for them being taxed away might present quite a problem.

Another discussion thread taken over by Gus (gopg2015).

    I’m sure Jo-Gus’ neighbours wish he would do a little less typing and a bit more house and yard work. Yikes !

    Once again Jgalt leaves a thread tail tucked and whimpering.

    Bubble burst when shown that what he posted as fact was actually bovine sourced material-aka BS, something that is better used when spread on a garden than used to form a foundation to support a position.

    Better luck next time People#1 (Being Human) ((Sophic Sage)) (((JGalt)))

      Obsess over me much? 50 cents a day, 3 dollars a day, not much of a difference, but when compared to our minimum wage $10.45 per hour with their 38 cents an hour, yes that is “slave wages”!

      Can’t contribute to a conversation in a constructive manner lonesome? …then you should just watch from the sidelines.

    OH and Christy Clark 2017👍👍👍👍👍

The irony in the steelworkers in that photo-op is priceless. They are the ones who wouldn’t allow the permitted spark watch people to work as union ‘brothers’ in the shutdowns, and had them permitted in under a new minimum wage union. lol

Everyone wants min wage to go up but will cry and complain when us business owners raise prices on our goods and services.

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