Demonstration for raising the minimum wage to $15

April 15, 2016 *Demonstration for raising the minimum wage to $15* *A coalition of community and labour groups call for a $15 minimum wage in Quebec* *Montreal, QC, On April 15* – Rallies will be held in cities across Canada calling for $15 minimum wage. In Montreal, a series of activities are being organized by different groups throughout the day culminating in a joint rally and march in Petite-Patrie. Yesterday, similar actions have taken place in the United States. In addition, on the same in the last year, hundreds of demonstrations for $15 minimum wage were taken in more than 200 cities in North America. Since 2012, the campaign for $15 minimum wage has been gaining momentum throughout North America. The groups organizing this campaign invite the population to join a rally followed by a demonstration in front of the Jean-Talon metro station from 5 pm. *Details* *What: The rally at 5 pm in from of the Jean-Talon metro station, the speeches and a demonstration in Petite-Partrie. The press briefing will be held at 5 pm at the rally.* *When: Friday, April 15, 2016* *Where: Jean-Talon metro station **(Exit Jean-Talon South: rue Jean-Talon & Avenue de Chateaubriand)* *Why : Campaign for raising minimum wage to $15 an hour * Research conducted in 2015 by the IRIS (Institut de recherché et d’information socio-économiques) confirms that a substantial raise of the minimum wage is necessary to lead a decent life. However, the government of Quebec proposes to raise the minimum wage only by 20 cents to reach $10.75 from May 2016. “This is not enough!”, according to Jasmin de la Calzada, of the Filipino Women’s Organization in Québec, PINAY. According th the IRIS, more than 850,000 people live in poverty in Quebec. “Even a full-time job does not guarantee an escape from poverty, because of the growing low-wage jobs,” says Viviana Medina an organizer for the Immigrant Workers Centre (IWC). In Canada, the average annual income of the top 100 CEOs reached $8,958,650 in 2014, estimates the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. From 1986 to 2009, the average income of the top 0.1% Canadians has increased by 135%, while the average income of the 90% from the bottom has increased only by 8%. Raising the minimum wage to $15 would contribute to reducing the inequalities and improving the situation of minimum wage earners and those earning close to the minimum wage, more than 450,000 workers in Quebec according to the Institut de la statistique du Québec. The campaign for raising the minimum wage to $15 aims to improve labour standards through popular mobilization. “A minimum wage increase does not solve all workers’ problems, but it is a good start!”, explains Dominique Daigneault, president of the Conseil central du Montréal métropolitain (CCMM-CSN). Domique Daigneault adds that this demand gives a full sense to the word ‘solidarity’, because it leads us to fight for the most precarious people. For the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) “A guarantee of a dependable number of working hours, a reinforced application of work standards, and fair and just working conditions are legitimate demands.” Since 2012, the campaign for $15 minimum wage has been gaining momentum throughout North America with New York state recently signing it into legislation while California makes moves to do the same. *Groups participating* 15 plus, 15 & Fairness McGill, Association des travailleuses et travailleurs de l’agence de placement (ATTAP) , Association des travailleuses et travailleurs étrangers temporaires (ATTET), Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now–Montreal section (ACORN), Communist League, Conseil central du Montréal métropolitain–CSN (CCMM-CNS), ÉtudiantEs socialiste of the UQAM (ES-UQAM), Ex-workers of the Sérigraphie Richford, Front de défense des non-syndiquéEs (FDNS), Immigrant Workers Centre (IWC), Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), MexicainEs unis pour la régularisation (MUR), Montreal Old-Port employees’ Union (PSAC) , PINAY (Filipino Women’s Organization in Québec), POPIR–Comité logement, School of Community & Public Affairs Students’ Association of Concordia University (SCPASA), Socialist Alternative -30-

For contact: Viviana Medina (IWC), 514-342-2111,