The Ontario Living Wage Network (OLWN) is proud to participate in this year’s #12days4good campaign. It will be our first of many to come. On our Do Gooder day, December 19, follow along with us on social media as we visit and profile local living wage employers including: coffee and tea retailer and distributor Grosche, the Habitat for Humanity Re-Store, and the Mennonite Central Committee Ontario’s Thrift on Kent shop.

The OLWN helps to calculate the local living wage in communities across Ontario. A living wage is different from the minimum wage in that it is calculated yearly based on the real costs of living in a specific region of the province. In Waterloo Region where OLWN is based, for example, the living wage is $16.15 per hour. The living wage is voluntarily paid by responsible employers.  

There are currently 55 certified living wage employers in Waterloo Region. For our good deed, we would like to spread the word about the excellent local businesses that recognize employees as more than just an expense to be minimized. These employers see the value in treating people with dignity and respect, and we hope you’ll consider shopping with them. All Ontario certified living wage employers are listed at ontariolivingwage.ca.

We constantly hear about the resistance to minimum wage raises from professional lobby groups and other corporate interests. This holiday season we’d like to remind people that they do not speak for all employers and business owners.