BCFED calls on Vancouver City Council to reverse decision to abandon living wage

March 2, 2023 | News Release

The BC Federation of Labour today released the following statement:

We are calling on Vancouver City Council to immediately reverse their appalling decision to abandon the city’s five-year-long status as a living-wage employer.

The ABC Vancouver majority have announced that they will no longer pay their lowest-paid, most precarious workers enough money to afford to live in Vancouver. They are telling the people who help keep Vancouver running that their labour may be welcome, but they and their families are not. It’s an insult to the value of their work and a callous attack on their ability to make ends meet.

With affordability far outweighing every other issue on British Columbians’ minds right now, this announcement marks these councillors as spectacularly out of touch — by design, apparently, since the decision was made behind closed doors, without consultation. To any councillor who believes the living wage should be based on a “five-year rolling average,” we invite them to find a single landlord, grocery store, dentist or pharmacy prepared to offer working people those same terms.

Vancouver has led by example for the past five years, providing a model for employers throughout the city and beyond. At a time when the cost of living has risen so sharply, this is a breathtaking abdication of leadership. With tough economic times on the horizon, these councillors have cast votes in favour of deliberately increasing poverty.