Promoting Living Wage in Hamilton: A Comparative Case Study of Faith - Based Activism

Sadhna Jayatunge (sadhnapj@gmail.com)
Communication and Culture, Royal Roads University
July, 2014
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Sadhna Jayatunge has 25-plus years of combined project management, marketing, communication, and career/job development experience in the corporate, government, education, and non-for-profit sectors. She recently completed an MA in Professional Communication. Sadhna has previous education in Journalism, Labour Studies, and Career Counselling. She assists individuals set realistic career goals, connect them with potential employers, and her hope is that this will give her clients a shot at prosperity. She finds her job satisfaction in seeing participants find meaningful employment and leave the Ontario Works assistance program.
 

Abstract

The literature contains much debate about the living wage, but few studies focus on faith activism. Since the living wage debate began in the late 1800s, Christian practice has led the movement culture of the western working class. This paper develops a new conceptual approach to measuring the positive characteristics of faith activism's role. As a result of shifting towards neo-liberalism, workers have lost job security and bonds they had with their employers. Analysis of the deteriorating economic, political, and psychological situations for workers highlighted that grassroots political power is essential for the working poor to reclaim dignity. The efficacy and legitimacy of faith organizations have amplified the living wage debate and influenced public policy. Using a comparative case study of successful living wage campaigns in Europe and North America, both a framework and a practical demonstration of interfaith activism in the living wage movement are provided.
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