Paying a living wage

More than 30 000 people in the city of Hamilton work full time jobs, but are still unable to make ends meet. The Ontario Living Wage network is asking company’s to pay their workers a lot more than minimum wage. Tom Cooper is asking the city and other employers to pay workers a living wage of at least $15.85 an hour, that’s nearly 4 and half dollars above minimum wage.

“It’s absolutely critical, right now there are almost 30,000 people who work everyday but aren’t earning enough at their jobs to pull themselves or families out of poverty, they’re Hamilton’s working poor.” Tom Cooper, Ontario Living Wage Network.

30 corporations in Hamilton have signed the living wage declaration including the Cake and Loaf Bakery on Dundurn.
“For us quality employment meant being able to go home and not worry about shelter, transportation or where your food is coming from, and not stress the little stuff.”

If council approves a living wage salary for more than 300 part time city employees, it could cost tax payers close to a million dollars. The lobby group says a living wage is a bare bones budget, it reflects what people need to earn to pay for food, housing, and utility bills. It doesn’t cover things like cigarettes, alcohol, or gambling.