“All work should be well-compensated. All work should have dignity,” she said. “Dignity means not only being treated with respect but also that those who have worked for a living must make a living.”
The Orange County Living Wage project, set to launch in October, aims to certify businesses that pay their employees a living wage.
The project will encourage businesses across Orange County to raise their wages to an established living wage of $12.75 per hour or $11.25 per hour with health insurance.
Mark Marcoplos, one of the project’s organizers, said participating businesses will receive a logo for their window.
“Businesses that are rightfully proud to be paying a living wage to their employees are going to benefit from more business,” he said.
Almost 40 percent of Orange County workers earn below the determined living wage benchmark, according to the Orange County Living Wage project.
Marcoplos said the project was inspired by the Durham Living Wage Project and Asheville’s Just Economics.
“If people make more money, they spend more money — it’s as simple as that,” he said.