Union Slams wage boost as too little

CALGARY -- Alberta's higher minimum wage set to kick in April 1 is progress but condemns the lowest earners to continued poverty, a union leader said yesterday.

Premier Ed Stelmach hailed the increase of the bottom wage to $8.40 from $8 as a means of helping mainly service industry workers keep pace with the booming province's rising cost of living.

"This will ensure minimum-wage earners share in Alberta's continued economic prosperity," said Stelmach, adding the 4.6% hike reflects the general increase in Alberta wages over the past year.

While welcoming the increase, Alberta Federation of Labour president Gil McGowan said the rate level puts low-income earners permanently behind the economic curve.

Edmonton Journal, Wed Mar 19 2008

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