Boom of workers leaving North
Evoy wants minimum wages updated

by Nancy Gardiner
Northern News Services

NNSL (Apr 30/97) - Jim Evoy says the only boom being heard in the North is the boom of moving vans' tailgates hitting the pavement as people pick up and move out of here.

So much for the line about the streets being paved with gold and diamonds, the president of the NWT Federation of Labor said to a labor conference Sunday.

"People are leaving the North for better paying jobs down south," Evoy (left) said. It used to be the other way around.

"The government is telling us we should all work for Edmonton wages and pay the high cost of living here," he added.

He noted the minimum wage in the NWT is one dollar lower than B.C.'s minimum wage per hour. Our current minimum wage for those on the highway system is normally $6.50 an hour for workers over 16 years of age.

Evoy addressed about 160 workers at the NWT Federation of Labor biennial convention Sunday morning.

"While employer's noses are in the cash registers, we should be out there organizing," he said. And the approach for the future is "we must change the way we do things, with more organizing and coalition-building."

He said one way is to become more active federally -- in the federal election, for example, by getting more people to run.