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Minimum wage activist group changes name, focus

Justice for Workers Nova Scotia says $15 no longer feasible living wage in Nova Scotia

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A pair of hands holds $15 worth of loonies.
caption Is it enough? Justice Workers Nova Scotia calls for a living wage in Nova Scotia – higher than $15/hour.
Elizabeth Foster

One Nova Scotia group that was originally fighting for a $15 minimum wage has changed its name and its focus.

Fight for $15 and Fairness Halifax announced on Tuesday that it changed its name to Justice for Workers Nova Scotia. The change comes after months of forums held by Fight for $15 members, in which they discussed updating their demands. 

Fight for 15 is a global movement, and media contact Suzanne MacNeil said that Justice for Workers Nova Scotia still plans on following their ideas, but like groups in other provinces, they are changing to fit Nova Scotia’s specific economic situation. She referred to the Fight for $15 and Fairness group in Ontario’s May 2021 decision to transition to Justice for Workers.

Mark Cunningham, a member of Justice for Workers Nova Scotia, said the group now believes that fighting for a $15 minimum wage is no longer feasible. Justice for Workers Nova Scotia aims to go higher. 

“We recognize that calls for a $15 minimum wage are no longer enough to support Nova Scotians,” Cunningham said. “There is a growing amount of literature that points to this fact.” 

Cunningham cited a study by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives last November which said a living hourly wage in Nova Scotia ranges from a little over $22 in Halifax to $18.45 in Cape Breton. The current minimum wage across Nova Scotia is $12.95 an hour. 

Workers Nova Scotia now advocates a $20 minimum wage (to cover living standards in both Halifax and Cape Breton), a set number of paid sick days, enforced labour standards, justice for migrant workers, and making the process for joining a union easier.

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About the author

Elizabeth Foster

Elizabeth Foster is a fourth-year journalism student from Maine. She also works as the Arts and Lifestyle editor of the Dalhousie Gazette and...

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