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WINNIPEG While Manitobas minimum wage may look good to some, it is slipping compared to other provinces and that is hurting the poorest families, children and particularly women, who are the majority of minimum wage earners, says CUPE.

Compared to other provinces like Ontario, Quebec and BC, our minimum wage rate is slipping, said Paul Moist, CUPE Manitoba President. Manitoba has the third-worst ranking for poverty in the country. That means the working poor families with children and, in particular, women workers are among the ones who stand to benefit the most by upping minimum wage rates.

In its presentation at todays public hearings, CUPE recommends that the province increase the minimum wage to 60 per cent of the Manitoba industrial average within the next two to three years. That would raise the current minimum wage from $6.25 to $8.80 an hour.

Moist said that many of CUPEs half-million members have family and friends struggling to make ends meet on minimum wage jobs. Manitoba members have long supported an increased minimum wage that is pegged to the average industrial increase in the province.

Studies show that women are the majority of minimum-wage earners, Moist said. Raising the minimum wage can make a real difference for them and their families.

The Canadian Union of Public Employees is Canadas largest union representing more than a half-million women and men across the country. In Manitoba, CUPE represents 24,000 members in health care, education, municipalities, social services, child cares, utilities, libraries and emergency services.

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For more information, contact:
Paul Moist, CUPE Manitoba President, Cell: (204) 981-2873