A rally is being planned outside a Tim Hortons in Cobourg this week in response to the owners’ decision to cut employees’ benefits.
Media reports say employees at a franchise owned by Ron Joyce Jr. and Jeri-Lynne Horton-Joyce, the son and daughter of the chain’s co-founder, have been told to sign a document acknowledging they are losing paid breaks, paid benefits, and other incentives as a result of the province’s minimum wage hike which reached $14 an hour on Jan. 1.
Dan Tobin, with the Northumberland and District Labour Council, says a rally is set for Wednesday at 5 p.m. at the Tim Hortons on Division Street. He says the rally is meant to express the council’s anger with the attack on the employees’ benefits.
“One of the perks for working at Tim Hortons full-time was that people had dental coverage, vision coverage,” Tobin said.
“These millionaire owners already make enough off the backs of employees as it is.”
The incident has even had Premier Kathleen Wynne weigh in, lambasting the owners for “bullying” their employees.
Tobin’s sentiment was also echoed Friday by Labour Minister Kevin Flynn.
“They appear to be taking it out on the hides of their employees and that’s just wrong,” Flynn said.
Friday afternoon, Tim Horton’s corporate head office lashed out online at the owners of the Cobourg restaurants.
“These recent actions by a few restaurant owners, and the unauthorized statements made to the media by a ‘rogue group’ claiming to speak on behalf of Tim Hortons, do not reflect the values of our brand, the views of our company or the views of the overwhelming majority of our dedicated and hardworking restaurant owners,” the statement read.
“While our restaurant owners, like all small business owners, have found this sudden transition challenging, we are committed to helping them work through these changes. However, Tim Hortons Team Members should never be used to further an agenda or be treated as just an ‘expense.’ This is completely unacceptable.”
The rally will also include representatives from the Durham Region Labour Council.