Hamilton's living wage movement got a "strong shot in the arm" Friday when two major organizations pledged to pay their employees at least $14.95 per hour.
The Hamilton Chamber of Commerce became the first chamber in Ontario to pledge a living wage. Good Shepherd Centres also made the pledge.
Both announced the move at a media event on Friday.
The event also acted as a launch pad for a new group called Ontario Living Wage Network. Tom Cooper, director of the Hamilton Roundtable for Poverty Reduction, is the co-ordinator. He will split his time between the two organizations.
Cooper called Friday's announcements a "strong shot in the arm" for living wage advocates.
Hamilton is a city of firsts when it comes to a living wage, which is a concept where all workers are paid at least the minimum amount to cover basic necessities. The living wage is different in each community. In Hamilton, it's $14.95 per hour.
The local public school board is already the first school board in Ontario to pay its employees a living wage. The municipality also pays a living wage to its full-time employees.