That Ontario’s recent minimum wage increase to $14 an hour could hurt small businesses was a given. That it would force a company boasting over $3 billion in annual revenue to cut back employee benefits is incomprehensible.
According to workers at one Ontario Tim Horton’s, however, that’s exactly what happened.
Employees at a Cobourg, Ontario Tim Horton’s franchise say they’ve been forced to sign a document that states they will lose their paid breaks and other benefits and incentives. The franchise’s owners – the son and daughter of the company’s co-founders, no less – blame Ontario’s new minimum wage for the measure.
“Breaks will no longer be paid. A 9 hour shift will be paid for 8 hours and 20 minutes,” reads the document, which was not delivered in person by the owners (they’re reportedly at their winter home in Florida). “These changes are due to the increase of wages to $14.00 minimum wage on January 1, 2018, then $15.00 per hour on January 1, 2019, as well as the lack of assistance and financial help from our Head Office and from the Government.”
While expecting assistance from the government is futile, perhaps there’s a point to be made that Tim Horton’s head office should shell out some cash to take some of the pressure off of franchise owners. One thing is clear: minimum wage workers should be the last ones punished.
Below is a copy of the document:
Tim Horton’s corporate media relations, meanwhile, took a ‘no comment’ approach to the situation.
“Almost all of our restaurants in Canada are independently owned and operated by small business Owners who are responsible for handling all employment matters, including all policies for benefits and wages, for their restaurants,” said the department in an email to CBC News. “Restaurant Owners are expected to comply with all applicable laws and regulations within their jurisdiction.”
Canadians on social media did not respond kindly to the news, with the hashtag #BoycottTimHortons making the rounds across Twitter.
Oh @TimHortons after a decade of repeated daily tea breaks, I'm done. Millions in profits and still franchisees cut workers benefits to prevent them from benefiting from Ontario's min wage increase. #greed #ByeTimHortons
— Niki Lundquist (@niki_lundquist) January 2, 2018
This @TimHortons letter is just so disgusting, “lack of assistance from head office or government” – really? Cutting paid breaks for workers making minimum wage? This is so disappointing. How selfish and shortsighted. We drink Tims daily. We’ll be buying at @McDonaldsCanada now. https://t.co/ECmHZHvG0W
— ScreenSushi (@screensushi) January 4, 2018
Dare I say McDonald’s has better coffee anyway.