Five thoughts on raising the minimum wage

Street protest

Protesting for an increase in the minimum wage. Photo by Fibonacci Blue.

At the base of the minimum wage movement is the idea that full-time minimum wage earners should not have to struggle to meet their most basic needs. The movement enforces the idea that everyone should be entitled to earn a living wage.

Organizations such as Fight for $15 and Fight for $15 and Fairness also want to see more unions to ensure that employees are entitled to fairness at their workplaces. Their proposed minimum wage hike is not intended to benefit the average high school or college student with a weekend job, but adults who work full-time for minimal pay. Although the minimum wage is supposed to create a minimum standard of living, it is being argued by organizations like Fight for $15, that the minimum wage is simply not enough for workers to live on.

How do workers feel about the campaign? I asked five people, who provided a range of responses.

Jackie Smith, Plumber

“I am against increasing minimum wage for many reasons. For one, it will be increasingly difficult for small businesses to manage to afford raising their employees wages, especially if the employees are not expanding their skills and education. As well, if minimum wage is to increase, then the price of living will increase as well, which creates a cyclic problem for everyone in society.”

Alana Creelman, Nurse

“I am agreeable with raising minimum wage, but to a certain extent. I believe the cost of living has increased dramatically and wages should be following the upwards trend to match this. At the same time, I believe members of society need to budget themselves accordingly to their wage, and pursue educational opportunities to earn a higher wage.”

Sarah Chan, Student and hospitality worker

“Students and non-wealthy families need to support their kids. Students are just broke in general, so they need money to pay for tuition, food and other basic needs. Also everything is expensive now, like all the prices are going up so minimum wage should go up, too.”

Cody Cummins, Construction worker

“If minimum wage goes up, everyone else’s wages should go up. Raising minimum wage will just make everything cost more at restaurants, grocery stores, etc.”

Courtney Savoie, Student and retail worker

“I’m totally for it. It’s hard being a student and finding a job that is above minimum wage to start with, and it’s even more difficult to get raises when you’re working in retail, which is where most students are. With the increase in the costs of goods and services that keep rising, it’s definitely needed to get by in day-to-day life. Most of my friends in university are full-time students and have two or three jobs just to be able to eat and pay rent.”

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