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

Maple Ridge will vote on garbage pickup this election

Plebiscite will piggy-back on to civic vote

Free parking spots at Ridge Meadows Hospital eroded

Lab patient says he may go to Mission over parking issue

Mosaic Art project wants community help

The community is invited to upcoming workshops to design an art project for the leisure centre.

Thousands awarded at 8th annual Rotary Duck Race celebration in Maple Ridge

Publisher of the Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows News awarded highest Rotary honour

News Views: Opportunity lost

Local governments control land use and zoning for cannabis stores.

VIDEO: Maple Ridge tent city residents back after flash flood Friday

Mayor though says they shouldn’t have to go back

Horvat leads Canucks to 4-3 shootout victory over Kings

Vancouver dumps L.A. in NHL pre-season contest

Update: Search called off for missing plane between Edmonton and Chilliwack

Search efforts were concentrated along the Highway 5 corridor between Valemount and Kamloops

Why Whistler for ski jumping in 2026? Calgary proposal gets pushback

Calgary 2026 proposes re-using the 2010 ski jumping venue Whistler for that sport and nordic

Despite progress, threat of 232 tariffs dominates NAFTA negotiations

Any deal is seen to require congressional approval before Dec. 1 to survive new Mexican government

VIDEO: Hundreds line highway as family brings home body of B.C. teen

Northern B.C. showed their support by lining Hwy 16 as Jessica Patrick’s body returned to Smithers.

VIDEO: Woman files complaint over treatment of cat with two broken legs

Ariel Johnston of Abbotsford says her pet was sent home without pain medication

B.C. MP Todd Doherty receives award for saving man who collapsed on a plane

Conservative MP was flying from Vancouver to Prince George, B.C., in June last year

Alleged border jumper from Oregon facing 2 charges after police chase in B.C.

Colin Patrick Wilson charged with dangerous operation of motor vehicle, flight from a peace officer

Most Read