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NLFL 2020 Provincial Budget Submission

The provincial budget is on a path to surplus. It has several revenue opportunities, through making the tax system fairer and greener, and through growing and diversifying the economy to generate more revenues with greater reliability. Further spending cuts are not required.

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NLFL Submission to Minimum Wage Review

The minimum wage is an important tool in the government’s toolbox for reducing poverty and inequality.

Having the second-lowest minimum wage in Canada – a poverty wage that does not allow a worker to afford even a one-bedroom apartment – is a disgrace in a province with one of the highest levels of GDP per capita in the country.

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Latest News

NLFL Fights Back on Minimum Wage Misinformation

In response to misleading and false claims made by the NL Department of Finance about the minimum wage, the Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of Labour is sharing information to debunk the myths about minimum wage, and promote a better understanding of what as $15 minimum wage will mean for workers, business, and the economy in our province.

Please share this poster (also available as a PDF file) to help stop the spread of minimum wage misinformation.


PDF version: Min Wage Myth Chart

February 20th, 2020|Briefs and Presentations, Issues and Campaigns, Latest News|

NLFL Co-Signs “Pharmacare Now!” Letter

The NLFL is proud to be one of the 150 national and provincial organizations who co-signed this letter, calling on Canadian Finance Minister Bill Morneau to make the financial commitments needed in this year’s budget to fund Pharmacare.


Fund Pharmacare Now!


English version: Letter to Minister Morneau Feb 13 2020

Version française: Lettre au ministre Morneau 13 février 2020

February 20th, 2020|Latest News|

Labour Federation Slams Business Community for Short-Sightedness on NL Minimum Wage

For Immediate Release:

As the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador (NL) reviews the report of its Minimum Wage Review Committee, the St. John’s Board of Trade and Chambers of Commerce are calling on government to maintain the province’s ridiculously low minimum wage of $11.40, to be increased by the Federal CPI annually as is the current practice.

The Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of Labour (NLFL) is appalled that organizations representing businesses, many of them local, are stating that the way to prosperity and economic well-being for the province is by keeping 70,000 of the province’s workers living in poverty. President Mary Shortall stated that they should be embarrassed for their short-sightedness, and blatant support for a low wage economy.

“This is nothing short of a self-serving political agenda on behalf of these organizations”, says Shortall. “We only have to look at other jurisdictions in Canada and around the globe to see how economic growth is tied to higher minimum wages. We need to put more money into workers pockets by raising the minimum wage first – and then we can talk about indexing it.”

NL has the second lowest minimum wage in the Canada. Last month’s “#snowmageddon” showed very starkly what can happen to low income earners when a crisis hits. Shortall contends that taxpayers ultimately pay the price when our most vulnerable citizens end up relying on public services to survive and stay healthy, and that a higher minimum wage can not only help reduce poverty, and improve the lives of workers and their families, but also results in increased economic activity in the local economy, where low wage workers spend their earnings.

The NLFL strongly supports local businesses. They understand the impact of non-NL owned big chains and box stores on local businesses. They do not agree however, that increasing the minimum wage causes businesses to fail, nor do they believe that the full cost of a minimum wage increase is ever passed onto consumers.

“Both research and lived experience does not support this fear mongering that we are hearing from business”; adds Shortall. “We desperately need young workers, and new workers to come to NL to live, work and play here. This will not happen with an $11.40 wage. Especially when they can work in most other provinces for a much higher minimum wage, and in some cases, for the same employer. Adult women are the largest percentage of low waged workers in NL. This is an equality issue, and a human rights issue.”

The minimum wage in Prince Edward Island will be $12.85 on April 1st, 2020 and Nova Scotia will eliminate the two-tiered minimum wage and add a $1.00 to their wage, bringing it to $12.55.

The NLFL continues to advocate for a $15 minimum wage by 2022.


February 19th, 2020|Latest News|

 Newfoundland & Labrador Minimum Wage Remains Lowest in Atlantic Canada and Falls Further Behind as Nova Scotia Announces $1 increase.

St. John’s, NL:  The Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of Labour (NLFL) has been demanding that the province substantially increase its minimum wage this April 1st.  As NLFL President Mary Shortall pointed out, “Our province has the lowest minimum wage in all of Atlantic Canada and the second lowest in all of Canada.  Other provinces are taking steps to substantially increase their minimum wage.  It is time we did the same.”


Starting April 1st, both PEI and Nova Scotia are planning major increases to their minimum wage.  PEI’s minimum wage will rise 60 cents to $12.85 an hour, while Nova Scotia has just announced an increase of $1.  On April 1st, the new minimum wage for Nova Scotia will be $12.55.  Both provinces review the minimum wage annually and appointed advisory committees to provide their recommendations to government once the review is complete.


“This is great news for workers in our neighboring provinces and gives minimum wage workers here in Newfoundland and Labrador (NL) hope, that our Government will adopt a comparable view.  We need a substantial increase to help lift workers out of poverty, help retain young people, help support local business and put more money into the local economy,” said Shortall.


January 31st, 2020|Latest News, press release|




The Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of Labour (NLFL) represents 25 affiliated unions, 500 union locals and 65,000 working women and men in every sector of our economy, in every community in our Province.



For more than 80 years, the NLFL has worked to advance the rights of all working people. We advocate on issues such as occupational health and safety and workers compensation, ‘as worker and human rights. The NLFL also advocates for a strong public sector, improved public services, along with public policy and laws that support our principles of social and economic justice.



‘We Are NL’ is a campaign launched by Common Front NL, a broad based coalition of labour, social justice and community groups representing over 100,000 Newfoundlander’s and Labradorians. Together we represent the majority in our province who believe that despite the current fiscal situation, we can and we must have an economy that works for everyone, leaving no one behind.

We are advocating for a $15 minimum wage for our province. Please visit www.fairnessnl.ca and sign our petition.


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VICTORY! Injured Workers Win a Raise

It is now official.

On Monday, February 26, 2018, The NL Government finally legislated an increase to the WCB Income Replacement Rate (IRR) for injured workers from 80 to 85%.  We acknowledge the Minister responsible for WorkplaceNL, the Hon. Sherry Gambin-Walsh for meeting with us, listening to us, and taking our concerns forward to government on our behalf.  Injured workers deserve no less.

The NLFL would like to thank all the affiliates, workers and allies who assisted and supported our campaign efforts.  Concerted political action does work.  We made a strong case, backed with solid background information, that increasing the IRR was long overdue and a matter of fairness and justice.

Our work remains focused on improving worker health and safety, and ensuring all injured workers are treated with respect and dignity.

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The Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of Labour (NLFL) Sector Council Project was established in 2007 to promote and support the development of sector safety councils in the province.