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ST. JOHN’S, NL – Canada’s largest union says an idea being floated by the head of the provincial Liberal party for a two-tier minimum wage system would be a huge step backwards for this province.

Liberal Leader Jim Bennett has said he would like to see wages for those over the age of 18 boosted to eight dollars an hour, but people under the age of 18 be paid six dollars an hour.

CUPE NL President Wayne Lucas says, “To steal a phrase from B.C., where labour waged a campaign on this very issue, ‘six bucks sucks’.  The Liberals have stolen this idea right from the pages of Gordon Campbell’s right-wing government there.

“Either that or they’ve been listening too closely to the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB), who have fought every single increase to the minimum wage ever introduced across this country.

“We need to see wages going up in this province, for all workers.  Gone are the days when we can expect to treat students and younger workers like a cheap labour pool,” says Lucas.

“Jim Bennett needs to go right back to the drawing board with this hair-brained idea,” adds Lucas.

For information:      

Wayne Lucas
President, CUPE NL    
(709) 727-2509 (Cell)    
John McCracken
CUPE Communications Rep.  
(902) 455-4180 (o)