Tim Hortons protests to expand beyond Ontario, 50 rallies planned across Canada

Tim Hortons' response to minimum wage hikes sparks series of protests

Tim Hortons' response to minimum wage hikes sparks series of protests

Protesters angered by some Ontario Tim Hortons franchisees who slashed workers' benefits and breaks after the minimum went up to $14 an hour on January 1st, are holding information pickets across the country Friday.

"I believe that people need to make enough money to live", said protester, Beth Pulos.

"What they should be doing is making sure that this minimum wage increase lifts the workers up but instead what they're doing is using this as an excuse to claw things back", said Jessica Sikora, an executive board member at OPSEU.

Wynne says she's happy to talk to any business owner about the wage hike but says taking frustrations out on employees is not fair. They are calling on Tim Hortons' parent company Restaurant Brands International (RBI) to take whatever steps necessary to reverse the cuts and ensure the wages and working conditions of Tim Hortons employees are fully protected.

Jason Holman said he had "absolutely no comment" when reached by phone Friday afternoon at a Whitby Tim Hortons.

She said if Ron Joyce Jr., whose father co-founded the coffee shop chain, was opposed to the Liberal government's decision to raise the minimum wage, he should have picked a fight with her, not the workers.

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The Whig was unable to confirm if the franchisee's employee policies were still in effect after January 1.

Other groups present at the protest in Toronto were Labour Toronto & York Region Council and $15 & Fairness.

The Great White North Franchisee Association, which represents half of Canadian Tim Hortons franchisees, has said Ontario's minimum wage hike and other changes to the province's labour laws will cost the average franchisee $243,889 a year.

Earlier this month, Wynne accused the children of Tim Hortons' founders, who own a pair of franchises in Cobourg, Ont., of "bullying" their employees by cutting paid breaks and benefits in response to the wage hike.

Their statement also said their our franchise owners have found the sudden transition challenging and are committed to helping them work through these changes.

A gathering of more than 20 people outside a Broadview and Danforth avenues Tim Hortons was one of 50 such protests happening across Canada Friday, Jan. 19.

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