Clark and unions agree to disagree over raising B.C.’s minimum wage

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VICTORIA – Premier Christy Clark and British Columbia’s union leaders agree to disagree when it comes to raising the minimum wage to $13 an hour.

Clark and B.C. Federation of Labour president Jim Sinclair emerged from a meeting Wednesday, saying they don’t agree on raising the minimum wage but do agree to co-operate on hiring and training more B.C. workers.

Clark says she’s concerned raising the minimum wage from its current $10.25 an hour could hurt job creation, even though Sinclair says it isn’t enough for people to make ends meet.

Sinclair and Clark say unions and the government will always disagree but meeting together allows both sides to consider positions of compromise.

Sinclair says the unions asked Clark to consider hiring more apprentice workers on government jobs and lobbying the federal government to change the temporary-foreign-worker program so British Columbians would have the first crack at entry-level jobs.

Clark says she’s concerned more apprentices could drive up the cost of government projects, but she says she supports hiring British Columbians first when it comes to entry-level and skilled jobs.

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