This Labour Day weekend, the Saskatchewan Federation of Labour is hoping workers are taking the opportunity to relax and rest so they are prepared for the upcoming months.
“We’re facing a lot of difficult times for working people in Saskatchewan, so this is a time for renewal,” said Lori Johb.
When speaking to Johb, who serves as the president of the federation, she explained how Labour Day offers a chance for people to celebrate the work they’ve accomplished throughout the year.
Now that summer is coming to a close, she believes it’s important for people to take the time to re-energize the mind and body with the challenges that lie ahead.
One of those challenges is their battle to one day seeing a $15/hour minimum wage in the province. Johb said the current minimum wage the provincial government has set for Saskatchewan workers is not going far enough to reach a livable wage.
“Boosting a minimum wage lifts up the entire community because we know folks that are making minimum wage are not going on trips or buying yachts, they are going into local stores and spending money in the community,” she stated.
Even with the minimum wage rising to $11.32 on October 1, Saskatchewan will still have the lowest minimum wage in the country. Newfoundland and Labrador will have the second lowest at $11.40 once Manitoba’s jumps to $11.65 next month.
Another issue the federation is working to solve involves occupational health and safety, referring to what Johb calls a “fatalities crisis in the province”.
She said there are far too many fatalities and injuries happening to workers in Saskatchewan.
“We’ve been working very hard at bringing this out and making people aware that we have a problem in Saskatchewan. Collectively, we’re doing a a job and we’re really moving forward with the Workers Compensation Board and the Saskatchewan Government.”
She added how no worker should ever accept injuries or the possibility of losing their life as ‘just part of the job’.