The BC government announced that the minimum wage will be increasing to $16.75 per hour on June 1, 2023.
SEIU Local 2 member Marissa Iacobucci, a leader in the Beverage Workers Rising campaign, was invited to speak at the event. She joined the Hon. Harry Bains, MLA for Surrey-Newton and Minister of Labour, and Brenda Bailey, MLA for Vancouver-False Creek, Minister of Jobs, Economic Development and Innovation.
Marissa Iacobucci’s Statement:
Good afternoon, my name is Marissa Iacobucci and I work at a private liquor store.
I am a proud Service Employees International Union member and a leader in the Beverage Workers Rising campaign.
In addition to working in the industry for seven years, I am also attending post-secondary school to work towards my future.
Working in low-wage jobs, such as retail or service, can be frustrating, challenging, and stressful.
As a student and young worker in the province who has only worked minimum wage jobs in the service and retail sector, I personally know how challenging it can be to make ends meet while keeping up with the rising cost of living.
Most of my co-workers live paycheck to paycheck and are struggling to pay for the necessities of living, like rent, food, and transportation.
We have had to work two or three jobs, take out student loans, and find extra roommates to make ends meet.
Many of my co-workers and community members have to choose between paying rent and buying groceries.
Living on our own, debt-free on a single wage has become close to impossible.
The extra stress associated with making ends meet has also had a negative impact our mental health.
My co-workers and I, along with all low-wage workers, deserve a fair wage that they can survive on, especially with the rising cost of living.
Over the last couple of years, the minimum wage increases have directly impacted me and my co-workers. It helps us make ends meet, and has given us financial stability, allowing us to save for emergencies and plan for our futures.
I have since joined a union, which has helped me get a higher wage.
I’m glad to see that our government is committed to promoting fairness for workers.
Although there’s still much to be done to address income inequality, this announcement is a step in the right direction toward improving the quality of life for low-wage workers.
We know how many people this change will impact, and the positive difference it will make for families across the province.
The increase in minimum wage is not just about numbers on a paycheck; it’s about providing a better life for workers across the province and creating a brighter future for all workers. Thank you.