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.

Just Posted

Two to hospital after University of Victoria sailing mishap

Wind gusts capsize boat of recreational club sailors

Victoria’s deaf community advocates for different sign languages to be recognized on federal accessibility act

Advocates also want Indigenous Sign Language to be recognized on the Indigenous Language Act

Transport Canada announces funds for pollutant clean up in Victoria Park, removal of abandoned boats

Contaminants at Laurel Point Park will be removed starting at the end of September

Moon Lantern festival to light up Gordon Head

Saturday night festival celebrates harvest moon, fall season

Volunteers gather in Metchosin for B.C.’s 1st ever search and rescue joint training

Around 200 volunteers came out for the three-day training program

Conservation officer frees B.C. deer from flotation gear mishap

BC Conservation Officer Service is reminding residents to keep backyards clear of entanglements

5 things to do this weekend in and around Greater Victoria

Sooke Apple Fest returns, Saanich lights up with lantern festival and anarchists unite for downtown book fair

Ottawa to name new ambassador for women, peace and security, Freeland says

Chrystia Freeland also confirmed Canada would spend about $25 million to fund number of initiatives

‘A little bright spot:’ Ottawa residents rescue dog trapped beneath rubble

Freelance journalist says rescue of a dog trapped under rubble was happy ending amid chaos in Ottawa

VIDEO: B.C.-born firefighter remembered by MP in emotional speech

Family asks first responders to look after one another in wake of suicide, growing concerns of PTSD

Airline has ‘close call’ with drone while en route to B.C. airport

Jazz Aviation reported the drone sighting near Vancouver to the RCMP and Transport Canada

Tragic accident claims life of B.C. toddler

Fundraising effort has been created to help mom and family

‘I’m no quitter’ on climate change issues, McKenna says at G7 ministers meeting

David Suzuki says if McKenna believes what she’s saying, she too should quit

Most Read