Working Towards a Living Wage

In recent years, Canada has faced a number of societal challenges, including persistent inflation, an escalating housing crisis, and stagnant productivity rates. These issues have created a reality where many Canadians find themselves struggling to bridge the gap between their income and the rising cost of living. As the Co-founder and Executive Chairman of 369 Global, I can share that our organisation has taken a decisive step towards addressing this issue by implementing a living wage for all employees across the group.

This commitment to a living wage is a testament to our deep appreciation for our employees, their hard work and dedication within our organisation. It also recognizes the growing wage disparity that has emerged in the past few decades and created a need for equitable compensation practices. In a time when the cost of living is outpacing wage growth, it is crucial, especially for large corporations with resources, to ensure all employees receive at least a living wage. 369 Global’s living wage policy is our way of saying we understand the very real realities tied to the cost of living.

As a business leader navigating the uncertainties and complexities of today’s economic landscape, I acknowledge the reservations many business leaders may have about adopting or sustaining a living wage policy. There is a growing appeal to downsize domestic workforces in favour of outsourcing work to lower-wage international labour or to find efficiencies through artificial intelligence. However, I maintain that the magic of any organisation is its people and that by recognizing their contributions you will see the value they add will only grow.

A living wage is about more than just the immediate financial benefits it provides employees. It’s also a powerful demonstration of an organisation’s values and respect for its team members. Easing daily financial pressures and boosting motivation, productivity, and loyalty creates a more stable and efficient workforce. The decrease in turnover, training costs, and absenteeism reinforces the mutual benefits of investing in employee well-being for the organisation’s success.

The impact of a living wage

Advocating for a living wage transcends organisational success and can foster economic and societal enrichment. Implementing a living wage can profoundly benefit the economy when people no longer have to struggle to meet their basic needs, giving them more purchasing power. This financial empowerment means citizens have more to spend on goods and services, and the increased demand can spur job creation. This cycle of spending can, in turn, boost the economy. 

A living wage enhances the quality of life for countless individuals and families and alleviates social expenditures. Elevating people above the poverty line diminishes reliance on governmental programs, easing the taxpayer burden. Access to adequate healthcare, nutritious food, and stable housing diminishes stress levels and reduces chronic health conditions, enhancing individuals’ well-being, which can help significantly mitigate the current strains on our healthcare system.

A living wage paves the way for families to support their children more effectively, which can profoundly benefit society. They can invest in their children’s educational pursuits and extracurricular activities, ensuring they can devote their focus to academic achievements rather than navigating the stress of helping to support their families. This foundational stability fosters better academic outcomes and opens doors to upward mobility. When individuals possess the financial means for self and familial support, the likelihood of resorting to illicit activities born out of economic desperation diminishes, culminating in safer communities.

Providing a living wage confronts and mitigates income inequality, guaranteeing that workers, irrespective of their socio-economic background or personal circumstances, can live with dignity. It addresses systemic issues perpetuating poverty and empowers individuals to break free from cycles of disadvantage, fostering a society where dignity, equity, and opportunity are not mere aspirations but tangible realities.

The decision to implement a living wage at 369 Global is more than a policy change; it reflects our core values and is a step towards cultivating a workplace that is inclusive, equitable, and conducive to a flourishing society and economy. It is our belief that by embracing this model, we not only uplift our employees but also set a precedent for responsible and sustainable business practices during a period of economic uncertainty. By leading by example, we aspire to inspire other organisations and contribute to the betterment of our communities.

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