Outrage brews over pub signs protesting minimum wage hike – London

A handful of people stood outside the Ale House bar in London on Monday to protest the owner’s attitude towards the recently announced minimum wage increases coming to Ontario.

The Ale House has been posting warnings to customers on a front-facing sign at its downtown location about potential price increases as they adjust to a minimum wage bump. 

One group, London Common Front, has been leading the charge to fight back against the bar owner’s messaging. 

“We figure since he’s sort of become a rallying point for business owners to fight this locally, it’s natural he would be a focus for us to express the opposite opinion,” said Anthony Verberckmoes, one of the group’s organizers.

He called the signs “deplorable” and stood at a table handing out ‘Fighting for $15’ pamphlets to passersby. 

The Ontario government announced last month the provincial minimum wage will increase to $14 an hour on Jan. 1, 2018, and then to $15 the following January. 

Scare Tactic

Verberckmoes said Ale House owner Alex Petro has been “trying to scare people into thinking everything’s going to be priced out of control and jobs would be lost and chaos would ensue.”

He said the goal of Monday’s protest was to spread awareness and draw attention to the benefits of an increased minimum wage. 

Anthony Verberckmoes was one of the organisers of a protest beside the Ale House in London on Monday. (Chris Ensing/CBC)

“If you’re out working two to three jobs making next to nothing and it all doesn’t add up, and then you hear this guy complaining about how that’s going to cause chaos in the world — I just don’t by that,” Verberckmoes said. 

He told CBC News he had not talked with the bar’s owner before the protest over signs that he said sparked “outrage.”

“If he wants to talk, I would talk with him I suppose, but I don’t feel like that’s the best use of my time,” Verberckmoes said. 

For me, it’s time for civil disobedience

– Alex Petro, Owner of…

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