Media Advisory: City of Vancouver Abandons Living Wage Commitment

March 2, 2023

Media Advisory

March 2, 2023
Vancouver, BC

City of Vancouver Abandons Living Wage Commitment

VANCOUVER     The Vancouver & District Labour Council is expressing its dismay at the City of Vancouver’s closed-door decision to walk away from its commitment to operate as a living wage employer.

For the past five years, the city has maintained certification as a living wage employer with the Living Wage for Families campaign. The campaign has certified a wide array of employers across British Columbia, including municipalities such as Victoria, Port Coquitlam, and the City of North Vancouver.

“This is a disappointing decision which will predominately impact those workers in the most precarious and lowest paid positions,” said VDLC President, Stephen von Sychowski. “What’s worse, this significant decision was taken behind closed doors, without the benefit of public consultation, without hearing from those workers whose pay cheques will take the hit.”

The labour council points to the ongoing affordability crisis, a top concern of its members, as a crucial reason for continuing to pay a living wage.

“We’re talking about folks like cleaners, security guards, and maintenance staff who are in many cases non-union,” said von Sychowski. “These workers rely on the living wage policy as their guarantee of a raise to help keep up with the rapidly accelerating cost of living.”

“At the end of the day, this is about priorities,” he said. “It’s about how you build a city that’s for everyone, that includes those who work here but struggle to live here. We don’t build an inclusive, resilient city by finding our savings in the pockets of workers.”

The labour council is thanking Councillors Boyle, Carr, and Fry for their support of the living wage and calling on the city to reconsider its decision.

—- 30 —

Further information: VDLC President Stephen von Sychowski at president@vdlc.ca

CBC Article, February 27: The City of Vancouver has been a certified living wage employer for more than 5 years. Will it continue to be?

Living Wage for Families: STATEMENT ON CITY OF VANCOUVER’S DECISION TO WITHDRAW AS LIVING WAGE EMPLOYER

OneCity: Protect Vancouver’s Living Wage

20 years after its passing, Canada’s unions demand enforcement of the Westray Law 

May 9, 2024
Click to open the link

Unified labour front: Nova Scotia Teachers’ Union joins Canadian Labour Congress

May 8, 2024
Click to open the link

11 years after the Rana Plaza factory collapse, Canada’s unions honour victims and continue demands to improve conditions for workers

April 23, 2024
Click to open the link