Minimum wage cut bill passes second reading after many hours of debate

EDMONTON – The marathon debate over the Alberta government’s plan to cut the minimum wage for young people and change rules on calculating overtime pay is over, at least for now.The legislature has passed second reading of Bill 2 more than a full day after debate began.The Opposition NDP delayed the bill with a tactic known as a filibuster where members talked and talked.The bill calls for rolling back the minimum wage for youth workers to $13 an hour from $15, starting June 26.Albertans have to miss a lot when they work overtime… it’s almost like they should be paid a premium for it…#ableg— New Democrat Caucus (@abndpcaucus) June 7, 2019It also proposed changes to banked overtime, allowing it to be calculated as straight time rather than time-and-a-half.Opposition leader Rachel Notley noted her own party’s failure to bring the issue to the forefront during the election.“As a result of that, perhaps, it was not an issue that was sufficiently debated, which of course is why we are spending so much time on it now.”NDP house leader Deron Bilous said the bill is unfair and will have a big effect on people who work in the construction and energy industries.I am proud to be a member of this team. After a record breaking session, I’m looking forward to returning to Red Deer this weekend and continuing to work hard for the people of my riding and of Alberta. #ableg— Adriana LaGrange (@AdrianaLaGrange) June 7, 2019Government House Leader Jason Nixon said the United Conservatives won the election on a promise to change workplace rules to encourage business investment.Next week, Bill 2 will be examined in detail in committee before moving to third and final reading.

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