And his stance has won praise from Labour leadership contender Ed Miliband.
Said Mr McLaughlin: “Across Scotland, the UK, and elsewhere trade unions, faith groups and businesses are working to grow their local economy based on a living wage.
“I’m launching this campaign because I believe that workers should earn a living wage. There are still too many people and families in out community who work hard, but remain in poverty.”
He said that Scotland’s public sector could play a role in helping secure a living wage economy through changes to procurement processes.
Mr McLaughlin said: “Scotland can afford to become a living wage economy, but we will all benefit from it. As workers earn more, they have more to spend.”