Emergency Phone Action to Stop the Cut

Help stop the cut to the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB). The federal government is planning to cut the CRB by 40 percent on July 17, 2021. Workers are already struggling to live on $500 (before tax) each week. If passed, these very workers would be expected to cover rent, groceries, medicines and more on only $300 per week. The cut comes while unemployment rates are still at record levels and COVID variant outbreaks are still real possibilities. Ottawa Gatineau Hotel Associaton Steve Ball said economists don't expect business meetings and conventions to return until 2023 at the earliest.

Who to call: 

  • Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau: (613) 992-4211
  • Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Labour Chystia Freeland: (416) 928-1451
  • Call your own Member of Parliament: www.ourcommons.ca/Members/en/search

SUGGESTED SCRIPT:
(Feel free to change it up and make it your own!)

Hello, my name is _______. I live in _______.

I am outraged to learn your government is planning to cut the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB) by 40% on July 17.
If you proceed, current estimates show over 1 million workers across the country will lose $800 a month in income support.


Your plan to cut these benefits before the economy has fully recovered amounts to cutting people’s lifeline before they have reach the shore. Nobody can live on only $300 each week. This is not only cruel for workers and their dependents, it is harmful to the economy.

I urge you to reverse course immediately. This is a voting issue for me and I will be following your actions closely.


My phone number is: _________ and my mailing address is: __________________. I would like a response.

Ask a friend to do the same!

After you make your calls, consider phoning 5 of your friends or co-workers, to ask them to make similar calls. Share the url to this page with them, so they know what to do!

Additional Actions

  • Please send an email (click here) to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland and your Member of Parliament. 
  • If the budget is passed with the 40% cut to CRB, the Justice for Workers campaign will call for an emergency day of action. Please sign up to get an update on July 17 (click here). 

Toolkit

The movement for decent work is growing because of people like you taking action for decent work.

You can print these materials at home to distribute in your community. Look for high traffic areas in your community like bus stops and intersections or bring it to work to share with your co-workers. Make it fun - bring a friend, family member or co-worker with you.

Tell us how it went by taking a photo and posting it online with the hashtag #Justice4Workers.

Please send in your completed petitions by mail to: Justice for Workers: Decent Work for All, c/o Suite 223, Spadina Avenue, Toronto, ON

Email us at [email protected] if you have an idea for local action or outreach activity -- and don’t forget to use the #Justice4Workers hashtag to tag us @FairWagesNow on social media.

Read more

Voted Against Paid Sick Days

You can print this poster at home to distribute in your community. Look for high traffic areas in your community like bus stops and intersections or bring it to work to share with your co-workers. Make it fun - bring a friend or family member with you to help with postering.  

Tell us how it went by taking a photo and posting it online with the hashtag #Justice4Workers.

Click here to download the poster.

This letter-sized poster is available to be downloaded in colour and black and white.

 

 


Frequently Asked Questions: Raising the Minimum Wage

There is a lot of misinformation that gets circulated about the impacts of raising the minimum wage. Unsurprisingly, a lot of that information comes from the big business lobby and politicians. Here are some helpful responses to some frequently asked questions. We'll continue to update this resource with more research and information. 

Will raising the minimum wage will cost low-wage workers their jobs?

Although the big business lobby and politicians often make this argument, there is overwhelming evidence that this is not the case. In countless cities and states in the United States that have raised their minimum wage to $15 an hour the job losses predicted by the big business lobby didn’t happen. Instead, more jobs were created in the local economy.

In Ontario, the provincial government raised the minimum wage from $11.65 to $14 an hour in 2018. That was a 21% increase in the minimum wage in a single year. Some economists and businesses predicted that over a hundred thousand jobs would be lost because employers couldn’t afford to pay workers a higher wage. The reality was that the Ontario economy added 78,000 full-time jobs and saw record low unemployment in 2018.

Won’t raising the minimum wage hurt small businesses?

Answer: When the bosses and the rich have money in their bank accounts they tend to put it into the invest it in the stock market or purchase more luxury goods like yachts, cars and champagne. They are not spending money in the local economy, they are taking money out of the local economy.

Raising wages means pumping billions of dollars into the local economy. When workers have extra money in their bank accounts they tend to spend it in the local economy and help create demand for more jobs.

In the service sector big corporate chains, like McDonald's, Tim Hortons, Starbucks are able to undercut small businesses because they rely on a low-wage worker model to out-compete small businesses. Raising wages levels the playing field for small businesses, while also giving the local economy a boost!

In cities that have raised their minimum wage, like Seattle which raised $9 to $15, local restaurants saw increased business. This led to job growth in the restaurant sector in Seattle.

Won’t raising the minimum wage just mean prices will go up?

The price of food and rent goes up every year, regardless if workers see an increase in pay. Raising wages does not cause inflation, it allows workers to keep up. This is especially important during the pandemic where so many workers have seen a loss in wages, employment or hours worked.

When the minimum wage was increased by 21% in 2018 there was no spike in consumer prices. The consumer price index, which measures prices of common goods and services, showed only a 2.4% increase in prices in 2018 in Ontario, in line with the national average.

The idea that raising wages will cause inflation is a myth used to discourage workers from demanding higher wages.

Can employers afford a higher minimum wage now?

The pandemic has deepened the divide between the rich and the rest of us. Canada’s billionaires increased their wealth by 78 billion dollars during the pandemic. 47 billionaires now have a combined wealth of 270 billion dollars.

The government has gifted businesses in excess of 100 billion dollars of free money this last year. Meanwhile, millions of workers are falling further behind. Facing unemployment, reduced hours and low-wages workers are struggling to get by. Raising the minimum wage is an effective measure to reduce inequality and jumpstart the economy. Raising the minimum wage is a key part of a just recovery from the pandemic.


Won’t raising the minimum wage just mean that companies will replace workers with self-serve checkouts and robots?

The argument that if workers are paid more they will simply be replaced by machines has been told to workers for hundreds of years. Most low-wage jobs are concentrated in the service sector and these jobs are hard to replace with machines. Robots are not very good at cleaning, cooking, stocking shelves or caring for children.

When bosses do introduce machines like self-service checkouts this has not replaced workers but has simply allowed bosses to increase the pace of work. For instance, when self-service machines at Mcdonald's were introduced the company had to hire more line-cooks to keep up with the increase in orders.


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