New voices for living wage program

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By Steve Arnold

Hamilton’s business voice and a leading social service agency have joined a crusade to make the city a living wageeconomy.

The Hamilton Chamber of Commerce and the Good Shepherd Centres signed onto the drive Friday, joining a growing group calling for a basic wage that’s tied to what it actually costs to live here.

“We’re joining this campaign as a statement about our values and principles as an organization,” said chamber president Keanin Loomis. “You don’t really have to go beyond the business case to understand this.”

The living wage campaign dates back to 2006 and argues that rather than a legislated minimum wage set through political compromise, local economies should set a voluntary wage tied to the actual cost of living in that area.

In Hamilton, the campaign argues a working person needs at least $14.95 an hour to purchase adequate shelter, clothing, food, transportation, child care, health insurance and “social inclusion” needs, such as a city recreation pass and other necessities.

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Article and image source: Hamilton Spectator

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