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Waterloo Region Living Wage employers

"I remember getting paid $4 an hour washing dishes"

- Helmi

Helmi Ansari is not a low-paid worker today. In fact, he is co-owner of Grosche International, a Cambridge, Ontario company. His personal experience helped underline the value Grosche places on creating good work that pays a living wage.

Grosche is one of twenty organizations that signed on to pay all of their employees a living wage in the first year of the Living Wage Employer Program in Waterloo Region.

What is a Living Wage? A living wage is not the same as the minimum wage, which is the legal minimum all employers must pay. The living wage sets a higher test – a living wage reflects what earners in a family need to bring home based on the actual costs of living in a specific community. The living wage is a call to private and public sector employers to pay wages for both direct and contract employees that are sufficient to provide the basics to families with children. The living wage is calculated as the hourly rate at which a household can meet its basic needs, once government transfers have been added to the family’s income and deductions have been subtracted. The living wage gets households out of severe financial stress by lifting them out of poverty and providing a basic level of economic security. (from

MCC Ontario is proud to be one of those organizations and to have helped launch
Living Wage Waterloo Region. In that first year, more than eighty (80) workers saw a pay increase as a result of the Living Wage Employer Program.

For more information about the Living Wage Program go to or contact Greg deGroot-Maggetti at