The Scoop: Alternative News & Views

Windsor-Essex Comes out on top With Highest Number of Living Wage Employers

15 November 2016 in Archive

October 31, 2016 – International living wage week kicked off today and Windsor-Essex proudly holds the top spot as the region with the highest number of living wage employers in the province. Pathway to Potential ramped up their recruitment tactics in preparation for living wage week after a friendly competition began with partners across Ontario.

Pathway to Potential thanks their ten recent additions that made it possible to achieve the number one spot. The recent employers to sign on include Amico Design Build Inc., Connexio Building Systems, Jeff Smith's County Chevrolet Limited , Essex Community Services, Hawkins & Co. Accounting, Oliver Signs and Design Communication, Highbury Canco, The Windsor Youth Centre, WEtech Alliance and Windsor Residence for Young Men.

These recent additions represent 884 employees, and also represent a couple of industry firsts for the program locally. Highbury Canco, an industry leader in food and beverage co-packing and logistics is the first of its type to sign on, as is Jeff's Smith's County Chevrolet in Essex – a GM certified Service Department and Chevrolet dealer.

The Windsor-Essex living wage program currently represents 41 employers representing over 7700 employees benefiting from earning, at minimum, the local living wage.

"I'm delighted to welcome our ten new living wage employers, whose commitment to our community has helped catapult our living wage campaign to the top spot in the province," said Adam Vasey, Pathway to Potential's director. "I am confident the involvement of our newest champions will inspire others employers to sign on and continue to build on this momentum," added Vasey.

Representatives from Hamilton conceded this morning via video message and have award Pathway to Potential staff with treats from living wage employers Muskoka Brewery and Hamilton's Cake & Loaf Bakery.

Here is what some of the newest Windsor-Essex living wage employers had to say about joining the campaign:

Essex Community Services

"Essex Community Services provides much-needed programs and services to our community. Our staff is dedicated and they go above and beyond every day for the people we help and serve. We choose to pay a living wage to ensure our staff are happy, healthy and feel taken care of." — Kelly Stack, Executive Director

Highbury Canco Protect your Brands, Nurture your Brands, Grow your Brands with

Highbury Canco. "Highbury Canco values its employees and their dedication to our company. We have a group of hardworking individuals that care about the products and brands made in our facility. It's important that we recognize their commitment." — Rhonda Chorba, Manager Human Resources

Jeff Smith's County Chevrolet

"We believe social justice and a living wage are two of the reasons we attract the very best in the out industry. We are a highly competitive business, and our people set us apart."— Jeff Smith, Dealer Principal

Oliver Signs and Design Communication

"For over fifty years we've been offering a living wage to all employees. We believe businesses can be an agent of social change for the better, and among many things it's only right to offer a wage that a person can live off of." — F. Chris Oliver, Co-owner

About Pathway to Potential – Windsor Essex County's Poverty Reduction Strategy

Pathway to Potential (P2P) works within the community to reduce and prevent poverty in Windsor-Essex. We accomplish this by engaging the community to identify and remove barriers to social and economic resources through education, research and advocacy. P2P is funded by the City of Windsor and County of Essex. P2P participates in a network with other communities across Canada through Vibrant Communities Canada.

About Living Wage Windsor-Essex

The living wage is a call to employers from all sectors to pay wages that are sufficient to provide for basic needs of families. Windsor-Essex is just one of many communities across Canada responding to the increasingly high levels of low-wage workers living in poverty. The basis of the living wage is that families and individuals should earn an income sufficient to pay for the basic necessities of life, so they can live with dignity and participate as active citizens in our society.

The push to provide a living wage is spearheaded by Pathway to Potential, the poverty reduction strategy for Windsor-Essex. Using the national framework for a living wage developed by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and other leading experts, Pathway to Potential announced the living wage rate for Windsor-Essex in March 2015 as $14.15 per hour without benefits and $13.10 per hour with.

For more information on the living wage campaign, please contact Adam Vasey by telephone 519-255-6545 ext. 6953 or email