Ontario has passed sweeping labour reform legislation, which includes increasing the minimum wage to $15 an hour and increases pay for part-time workers, changes some in the auto parts industry say make the province a more expensive place to operate.
Organizations like the Automotive Parts Manufacturers’ Association and Magna International have opposed changes since they were first tabled.
Currently at $11.60 an hour, the minimum wage will rise under the legislation to $14 an hour on Jan. 1, with the increase to $15 coming in 2019.
The plan has proved largely popular in government polling and with labour advocates, though it is controversial with businesses, who say the increase is too fast and will lead to job losses.
Magna told Automotive News Canada in July that a higher minimum wage will force Magna's suppliers to increase their own wages, therefore making it more expensive for Magna to operate in Ontario.
“For the first time in our 60-year history we find ourselves in the very untenable position of questioning whether we will be able to continue to operate at historical levels in this province. Ontario has increasingly become a very challenging jurisdiction in which to conduct business,” warned Magna Chief Human Resources Officer Marc Neeb in a July 19 submission to a committee studying the legislation.
Magna CEO Don Walker broached the subject agains during a Nov. 13 earnings call. He said the bill could affect the company’s future investment decisions.
“I’m not sure what the government is trying to do,” he said. “We’re waiting to see what happens in a couple different areas.”
Magna didn’t immediately respond to interview requests place by Automotive News Canada on Wednesday.
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