3 Hamiltons meet to discuss their living wage efforts

Living wage advocates from Hamilton, New Zealand, Hamilton, Scotland and Hamilton, Ontario meet for an online live video chat. They discuss their successes and challenges in trying to implement a living wage in their communities.

Three Hamiltons came together Thursday afternoon to discuss their successes and challenges in trying to implement a living wage in their communities.

CBC Hamilton hosted a streamed live chat with groups from Hamilton, Ont., Hamilton, New Zealand and Hamilton, Scotland.

Each community has a strong effort to get public and private employers to implement a living wage, and each community has had road bumps.

A living wage is the amount of money a worker needs to pay for basic expenses such as housing, clothing and food. In Hamilton, Ont., that amount is estimated at $14.95 per hour.

There have been some successes here. The local public school board has declared itself a living wage employer, and the city pays its full-time workers a living wage. About a dozen private businesses have signed on so far, said Tom Cooper, director of the Hamilton Roundtable for Poverty Reduction.

In Hamilton, Scotland, living wage advocates have gotten most of the public sector, including city councils, school boards and universities on board, Cooper said.


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