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Workers call for $14 minimum wage at province-wide rallies

Two rallies in Toronto on Saturday were part of a province-wide day of action calling for a $14 minimum wage.

The Jane Finch Action Against Poverty held a street party at the intersection of Jane Street and Finch Avenue West and a carnival was set up outside the Toys “R” Us at Dufferin Mall.

Other events — all part of the Campaign to Raise the Minimum Wage launched in March — took place throughout the GTA and as far away as Sudbury.

The coalition behind the campaign said the minimum wage has been frozen at $10.25 for three years while food and transit costs have soared.

“We are all struggling to live on the minimum wage,” a Workers’ Action Centre member said on the campaign website.

“When you go to the grocery store, food prices are way up. Rent is increasing every year. We are hard-working people. But with the current minimum wage, it’s either you go hungry or pay the rent.”

Organizers said groups like the Retail Council of Canada and the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association are lobbying against any increases.

The minimum wage for students is $9.60 an hour, and for liquor servers, it’s $8.90 an hour.

The Ontario government set up a panel in July to study minimum wage policy.