Quebec workers will see a few more dollars in their wallets starting Wednesday as minimum wage goes up 50 cents to $12.50 an hour.
When the announcement was made last January, Quebec’s Employment Minister Jean Boulet said the 4.17 per cent hike would benefit 288,200 Quebec workers.
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The increase represents an additional $400 to $650 a year, depending on the number of hours worked and the employee’s family situation.
Workers who receive tips will see their salary increase by 25 cents per hour, bringing their hourly wage to $10.05. Raspberry pickers will now receive an extra 15 cents per kilogram; strawberry pickers will see an increase of four cents per kilogram.
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The Quebec Federation of Labour believes a minimum hourly wage of $12.50 is not enough and doesn’t allow minimum-wage workers to live with dignity.
The federation believes $15 an hour would be an appropriate salary.
The Confédération des syndicats nationaux — Quebec’s second-largest trade union federation, representing about 300,000 workers — says not only is the increase not enough to afford the cost of living, but it’s also not enough to stimulate the Quebec economy.
In January, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business said the raise would create more pressure than expected for small and medium-sized businesses.
As for the Conseil du Patronat du Quebec, the province’s employers’ council, it says the 4.17 per cent increase is higher than the 2.6 per cent inflation, cost of living and planned general salary increases of three months ago.
—With files from La Presse Canadienne