Tim Hortons judge “short-sighted” cuts imposed on some employees

Photo: Patrick Dell, The canadian Press
The company has not said what it intends to do to help its franchisees that must pay higher wages to their employees since 1 January.

Toronto — The Tim Hortons head office called Friday of” reckless ” and “completely unacceptable” the decision of some of its franchisees to eliminate paid breaks for their employees and reduce their benefits to adjust to the increase in the minimum wage in Ontario.


In a letter sent at the end of last month, Ron Joyce Jr. and Jeri Horton-Joyce announced to the employees of two coffee shops, Tim Hortons Cobourg, Ontario, that they had no more right to paid breaks. In addition, those who wish to still benefit from the dental plan and other health benefits will now have to pay themselves a portion of the costs of the program.


The franchisees have explained their decision by referring to the increase in the minimum wage in ontario, which is past Monday 11.60 $ to $ 14.00 an hour. It should climb to $ 15 per hour as of January 1, 2019.


In a press release, Tim Hortons said Friday that the cuts ” do not reflect the values of our brand, the opinions of our company or the opinions of the vast majority of our restaurant owners who work hard “. According to the company, the staff ” should never be used to promote opinions, or be treated as a mere “expenditure” “.


The company has not said what it intends to do to help its franchisees that must pay higher wages to their employees since 1 January.


However, she said, ” even if our restaurant owners, like all owners of small businesses, find this sudden difficult transition, we are committed to helping them to adjust to these changes “.


Tim Hortons and its parent company, Restaurant Brands, were asked Friday afternoon to ensure that all the owners of cafes participate obligatorily in a conference call with them, according to the Great White North Franchisee Association, a group created last year to allow certain franchisees to express their concerns.


This meeting occurs in the wake of comments made yesterday by the premier of ontario Kathleen Wynne. It said Thursday that, if Ron Joyce Jr., whose father co-founded the coffee chain, was opposed to the decision of the liberal government to raise the minimum wage, he would have had to take directly to it, and not to its workers. She described the measures imposed on the workers of” intimidation “.


His sentiments were echoed in the ontario minister of economic Development Brad Duguid, who has urged business owners to comply with their minimum-wage workers.


“The decision on the minimum wage has been taken, he said. This first minister is going to speak on behalf of those whose voice has not often been heard. She is going to move forward with our measures to ensure that all workers benefit from our strong economy. It’s not going to be daunted by those business owners, some of whom are very wealthy, and give up his passion, which is to take the defense of the less fortunate. “


Mr Duguid said to believe that most companies “fully understand” the plan of the province on the minimum wage, but has asked those who have trouble with the government not to let off steam on their employees.