Double-doubles and demonstrations: Employees rally outside Tim Hortons

Protests held in response to Ontario franchise owners cutting employee benefits and breaks

Tim Hortons employees and demonstrators are hosting protests in the Lower Mainland today, supporting their colleagues in Ontario who’ve seen cuts to their benefits and breaks due to the increase of minimum wage.

It’s being called a national day of action by more than 50 groups across Canada that spent their mornings rallying with signs outside Tim Hortons locations, including in Surrey, Vancouver and Maple Ridge.

Chris Fofonoff, organizer of the Surrey rally, estimated about 30 people came out to the Tim Hortons to protest from 7 to 8 a.m. Friday morning.

“It was a real good one,” he said later that morning. “We got a good turnout in spite of the fact that we had no sunlight for the first half of it.

“We got a lot of honks as soon as the sun came up and people could see our signs, that’s for sure.”

The demonstrations come just a few weeks after an Ontario franchise owner was under fire for cutting back on employee benefits and paid breaks. The changes were in response to the province increasing its minimum wage to $14 an hour.

READ MORE: ‘Hold the sugar, hold the cream, Tim Hortons don’t be mean,’ protesters chant

READ MORE: Protest against Tim Hortons planned across Ontario today

Once word got out about the way the owners were offsetting their increased costs, a social media campaign was started encouraging people to boycott Tim Hortons in solidarity of the workers.

The coffee company, dubbed a piece of Canadian culture, are operated as franchises – meaning they are individually owned but operate under a parent company.

Tim Hortons has said individual franchisees are responsible for setting employee wages and benefits, while complying with applicable laws. But some franchisees argue the corporation, which controls prices, should help owners grappling with the mandated wage hike.

But those in protest say the back-and-forth between Tim Hortons and franchise owners doesn’t help the employees who are being impacted.

Minimum wage implications resonate in B.C.

The pressure by many British Columbians for the government to increase minimum wage has been an ongoing discussion for years – recently seeing commitment by the NDP to fulfill a $15 wage by 2021.

In a news release Thursday, B.C. Federation of Labour president Irene Lanzinger said she’d be participating at the Vancouver rally Friday.

“It’s time to send Tim Hortons and its parent company, Restaurant Brands International (RBI), a strong message – stop punishing your workers,” says Lanzinger.

BCFED has been campaigning to boost B.C.’s minimum wage for years, suggesting that the boost could lift 500,00 workers above the poverty line.

“It’s [minimum wage] so far behind the cost of living,” Fofonoff said.

The Tim Hortons rallies, he said, are to show companies they “can’t get away with it,” if they choose to follow suit once a higher minimum wage is instituted in B.C.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Nelson’s SMRT1 Technologies to provide vending tech to Vancouver company

UpMeals will launch 22 machines across Canada using SMRT1’s personalized machines

July Kootenay real estate sales at record high

Sales and prices of Kootenay real estate on the rise

Kaslo council says it was overlooked in long-term care announcement

“We’re fed up … They have ignored every attempt we’ve made to contact them”

Kaslo 2.0: Effort to take the village’s local government online advances

The first step if approved would be setting up a Kaslo Health Hub

No charges yet in death of Abbotsford officer Allan Young

Police and Crown say the investigation is still underway

53 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths cap off week of high infection rates in B.C.

Roughly 1,500 people are self-isolating because they either have COVID-19 or have been exposed to it

VIDEO: Internet famous Yukon-based bhangra dancer explores Vancouver Island

Gurdeep Pandher spreads joy through dance, forms cross-cultural connections amid pandemic

Unofficial holidays: the weird and wonderful things people celebrate around the world

On any given day of the year, there are several strange, silly or serious holidays to observe

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

Gene editing debate takes root with organic broccoli, new UBC research shows

Broccoli is one of the best-known vegetables with origins in this scientific haze

VIDEO: U.S. Air Force pilot does fly-by for B.C. son amid COVID border separation

Sky-high father-son visit plays out over White Rock Pier

3 Vancouver police officers test positive for COVID after responding to large party

Union president says other officers are self-isolating due to possible exposure

New mothers with COVID-19 should still breastfeed: Canada’s top doctor

Dr. Theresa Tam made the recommendation during World Breastfeeding Awareness Week

Collapse of Nunavut ice shelf ‘like losing a good friend:’ glaciologist

The ice shelf on the northwestern edge of Ellesmere Island has shrunk 43 per cent

Most Read