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Advisory: Ontarians Turn Up the Heat on Frozen Minimum Wage

TORONTO, ONTARIO -- (Marketwired) -- 09/14/13 -- On Saturday, September 14 workers across Ontario will be turning up the heat on corporations whose lobby organizations are campaigning to keep wages low in Ontario. Full-time minimum wage workers' annual income falls nearly 20% below the poverty line.

"Corporations with over 500 employees are the largest source of poverty-level wages employing nearly half of all minimum wage workers in Ontario," said Christy Knockleby, of the Sudbury Coalition Against Poverty. "Corporations like McDonald's, Tim Hortons and Toys "R" Us are making hundreds of millions in profit, yet their lobby organizations -- like the Retail Council of Canada and the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association - are among the most vocal opponents of a decent $14 minimum wage."

This year, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne appointed the Retail Council of Canada to her government's Minimum Wage Advisory Panel.

This Saturday, workers from Sudbury to Windsor, will point the finger at profitable corporations that have not yet distanced themselves from the positions advanced by the lobby groups RCC and CFRA. "If corporations are serious about supporting healthy communities, they should pay wages that are at least 10% above the poverty line," said Deena Ladd of the Campaign to Raise the Minimum Wage. "This is what creates jobs and stimulates economic activity."

"Our community has the highest rental rates relative to income in Canada, but minimum wage workers haven't had a raise in over three years," said Peterborough and District Labour Council Executive Board Member Paul Brown, who, on Saturday, will be joining low-wage and precariously employed workers at an event outside a local Tim Hortons. "A $14 minimum wage would help alleviate the financial pressures that low wage, precariously employed workers face everyday in our community."

For more information on the campaign, visit: www.raisetheminimumwage.ca

Follow the campaign Twitter account @fairwagesnow and hashtag #14now

The following actions will be taking place in communities across the province.

Provincial actions and contacts:                                            
Cornwall:            Rally at Second Street and Glengarry Blvd., 9am        
                     Elaine McDonald, 613-938-7763,                         
                     [email protected]                              
Burlington:          Leaflet at McDonalds, 1-3pm                            
                     689 Guelph Line                                        
Guelph:              No More McWages! Raise the Minimum Wage, 11am          
                     corner of Wellington St. and Gordon St                 
                     Peter Miller, (226) 500-3433,                          
                     [email protected]                        
Hamilton:            Flash Mob, 2pm                                         
                     Hamilton City Hall                                     
                     Ahmad Al-Amad, [email protected]                   
Kitchener-Waterloo:  Rally and Community Outreach, 5-6pm                    
                     Sidewalk in front of McDonald's, 600 King St W, corner 
                     of Breithaupt Ave                                      
                     Poverty Makes Us Sick: (226) 789 6786,                 
                     [email protected]                               
London:              Demonstration at McDonald's, 6pm                       
                     Dundas and Richmond St.                                
                     London Common Front, [email protected]       
Oshawa:              Minimum Wage Monopoly, 2pm                             
                     Outside MPP Joe Dickson's office, 201A-50 Commercial   
                     Avenue, Ajax                                           
                     We Are Oshawa, Jesse Cullen, (905) 441-9112,           
                     [email protected]                               
                     John MacDonald: (905) 424-2776, [email protected]   
Peterborough:        Leaflet at Tim Hortons, 12pm                           
                     Lansdowne and Ashburnham                               
                     Paul Brown, 705-559-1397, [email protected]     
Toronto:             $14 Minimum Wage Carnival outside Toys "R" Us, 1pm     
                     900 Dufferin Street, Dufferin Mall                     
                     Sonia Singh, 647-235-6912                              
                     Jane and Finch Street Party for a $14 minimum wage! 12-
                     Southeast corner of Jane-Finch intersection            
                     Ama Amponsah, 647-907-8755                             
Sudbury:             Action at Toys 'R' Us, 11am                            
                     Meet at bus stop at Silver City.                       
                     Christy Knockleby, [email protected]              
Windsor:             Minimum wage buffet, 1pm                               
                     Windsor Workers Action Centre, 328 Pelissier St.       
                     Paul Chislett, (519) 995-8351,                         
                     [email protected]@wwac.ca                    
York Region:         Community Outreach and Information Table, 1-6pm        
                     Markham South Asian Festival - Featherstone Park       
                     Social Services Network Booth:                         
                     Tim Horton's Coffee Talk and Action, 10am              
                     17252 Leslie St, Newmarket                             
                     Yvonne Kelly, 416-697-4208, [email protected]            

The Campaign to Raise the Minimum Wage is coordinated by ACORN, Freedom 90, Mennonite New Life Centre, OCAP, Ontario Campaign 2000, Parkdale Community Legal Services, Put Food in the Budget, Social Planning Toronto, Toronto and York Region Labour Council and Workers' Action Centre.

Sonia Singh
(647) 235-6912 or (416) 531-0778, ext. 221
[email protected]

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