Local Economy

More Hamilton employers pledge to pay workers $15 per hour

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.
Tom Cooper, Keanin Loomis and Judy Travis pose at a living wage event on Friday. Cooper is the new co-ordinator of the Ontario Living Wage Network and director of the Hamilton Roundtable for Poverty Reduction. Loomis is president of the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce, which declared itself a living wage employer. Travis is chair of the Hamilton Living Wage working group. (Tom Cooper)

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.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.