Windsor Has The Most Living Wage Employers

Adam Vasey. Courtesy of UWindsor.ca

When it comes to having the most employers signed up to support the creation of a living wage, Windsor has Hamilton beat.

For a while, a friendly competition was close, but with the advent of Living Wage Week, Windsor has been declared the winner with 41. That’s the most in Ontario.

On Wednesday, seven of those companies were recognized at a luncheon in Leamington.

They’re not all small and medium-sized businesses either. Highbury Canco in Leamington with employees in the hundreds is one of the latest employers to join the campaign.

Pathway To Potential Executive Director Adam Vasey thinks there are a couple of reasons why employers in the two blue-collar cities are eager to get involved.

“Hamilton and the Windsor-Essex community have faced similar challenges over the last number of years with the loss of manufacturing jobs,” he says. “I think maybe there’s a bit of an extra incentive and extra momentum for employers to really get onboard.”

Vasey says once employers understand the difference between a minimum wage and a living wage, they become excited at the prospect.

“Employers have lots of different reasons why” Vasey says. “They’ve seen greater morale in their workplaces, loyalty. It aligns with their mission, with their corporate responsibilities.”

While the minimum wage is the least employers are required to pay workers in Ontario, the living wage is more reflective of what it costs to afford the basics in a community. In Windsor, a living wage would be $14.15 without benefits, and $13.10 with benefits.