OPSEU/SEFPO’s Thomas applauds higher minimum wage; urges members to support local businesses


Toronto – OPSEU/SEFPO President Warren (Smokey) Thomas says Ontarians must step up and support businesses in their community as the province emerges from the pandemic.

Thomas was on hand Tuesday when Premier Doug Ford announced that the minimum wage will be increased to $15 an hour in January.

An increase to the minimum wage is something Thomas has urged Ford to bring in for many years. Thomas called it good news but said it’s now up to Ontarians to do their part.

“If small business is to support workers with a living wage, then it’s up to us, unionized workers, to support these businesses so they can pay those wages,” said Thomas.  “I’m asking everyone, please invest in your local economy.”

Thomas noted the fabric of Ontario’s communities is also at stake because local businesses play such an important role.

“Unless we want our communities to profoundly change, we must support local stores that have suffered greatly during this pandemic,” said Thomas. “To my members, I say support local businesses because it’s either buy local or bye bye local.”

Thomas says in order to leave the pandemic behind, it’s imperative everyone recognizes the symbiotic relationship between the public and private sectors.

“We are not enemies, we eat at the same table,” said Thomas. “Working together works for all of us.”

For more information: Warren (Smokey) Thomas 613-329-1931; OPSEUCommunications@opseu.org