“A living wage reflects what earners in a family need to be paid based on the actual costs of living and being included in a specific community.” – Aidan Johnson, Chair of the Niagara Poverty Reduction Network
A News Release from the Niagara Poverty Reduction Network
Posted November 2nd, 2020 on Niagara At Large
Niagara, Ontario – The Niagara Poverty Reduction Network is celebrating National Living Wage Week from November 2-8.
As a result of the many on-going challenges related to COVID-19 the Ontario Living Wage Network has announced that all new or updated Living Wage calculations across municipalities and regions in Ontario will be suspended for 2020.
This means that the 2019 Niagara region Living Wage calculation of $18.12/hour will remain in effect until further notice. The 2019 Cost of Living and Living Wage calculations and reports can be found on the Niagara Poverty Reduction Network’s website www.wipeoutpoverty.ca.
“A living wage reflects what earners in a family need to be paid based on the actual costs of living and being included in a specific community, “ says Aidan Johnson, Chair of the Niagara Poverty Reduction Network.
“A living wage is not the same as the legislated minimum wage. It is a voluntary commitment that employers can make to compensate directly-employed and contract-employed full-time and part-time workers.”
A 2018 study by PEPiN (Poverty and Employment Precarity in Niagara) researchers found that precarious, unstable and low paying employment is a significant issue for many workers in Niagara and has a direct impact on their health and the health of the community.
“Providing wages that allow a family to meet its basic household needs is one important tool to address cost of living and precarious employment challenges in Niagara region,” says Johnson.
The Niagara Poverty Reduction Network remains committed to promoting the Ontario Living Wage Network’s provincial Living Wage employer certification program.
To date, 43 employers from across Niagara region have become Living Wage certified, employing nearly 1500 full time, part time, and contract employees. This is up from 28 certified employers a year ago. As well, there are over 300 certified Living Wage employers across Ontario.
For more information on the Ontario Living Wage Network and their Living Wage employer certification program, visit www.ontariolivingwage.ca .
Niagara’s current certified Living Wage employers are –
Anchors Away, Beechwood Doughnuts, Bethany Community Church, Centennial Construction and Contracting, ClaraDerma+, Con Gusto Artisan Bakery, Damin Starr Commercial Enterprises, Dispatch, Dun’ For You Contracting, Gales Gas Bar, GFL Environmental Inc., Gillian’s Place, Griffiths Performance Physiotherapy, Inspire Clean, Iron Will Raw, John Howard Society of Niagara, Kraun Electric, Landlord Web Solutions, Marmax Machine & Manufacturing, Modern Landfill, Niagara Centre for Independent Living, Niagara Community Legal Clinic, Niagara Eye Care Centre, Niagara Falls Community Health Centre, Niagara Folk Arts Multicultural Centre, Niagara Pallet, Niagara Regional Housing, Niagara Sexual Assault Centre, Oakridge Cabinets, One Earth, PenFinancial Credit Union, Person Centred Care, Positive Living Niagara, Second Dance Bridal/Feather & Pearl, ServiceMaster Restore of Niagara, Sicard RV, Spirit Athletics, Tattersall, Brown & Lacas Inc.,The Enviro-Niagara Group, The Niagara Herbalist, The Social Gourmet, Trilogen Technologies Inc., and Women’s Place of South Niagara.
A Brief Footnote from Niagara At Large reporter and public Doug Draper –
Congratulations to this great Niagara, Ontario network and to all of the businesses leaders across our region who believe enough in a living wage for those they employ and who work with them to grow their businesses.
God bless these business leaders for showing they care enough about the welfare of those they employee by putting a little more of their own money on the line.
How disgusting it is – by contrast – that our current Ontario Premier, Doug Ford, and his Tory minions like Niagara West MPP Sam Oosterhoff are so much against a living wage for working people that they went out of their way to roll back minimum wage increases for employees when they came to power in 2018.
Ford, Oosterhoff and company have not only blown back on minimum wage increases that might help more Ontario workers rise above a poverty level, they did absolutely nothing when billionaires like the Weston family, owners of Loblaws/Zehrs related grocery store chains and Shopper’s Drug Marts that have been making record profits during these pandemic times, recently cancelled a $2 per hour COVID-19 bonus for front-line employees risking their health in these stores.
Forget about all of the working-class hero baloney we have heard from Ford and his government.
Looking after the interests of the rich and privileged is how much the likes of Ford and Oosterhoff care about people working at the lower end of the wage scale.
It’s nothing more than a Trump-like con job on working people who find themselves falling further and further behind.
Let’s not kid ourselves. Ford, Oosterhoff and company – when you get past their bullshit – don’t give a damn about minimum wage workers in Ontario!
Doug Draper, Niagara At Large
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