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‘Donuts not cuts’ protest comes to Hamilton

Protesters outside Concession Street Tim Hortons.
Protesters outside Concession Street Tim Hortons. Sara Cain, 900 CHML

A number of groups across Canada stood in solidarity with Tim Hortons’ workers affected by the elimination of paid breaks and the rollback of benefits, Friday.

It’s part of the National day of action against cuts that seeks to hold the donut chain’s parent company Restaurant Brands International Inc. accountable.

READ MORE: Ontario premier criticizes owners of Tim Hortons franchise, says workers shouldn’t be used as pawns

The protests follow reports that certain franchisees have responded to Ontario’s minimum wage hike to $14 an hour by cutting benefits and breaks.

Mary Love with advocacy group Leadnow says she showed up to the Concession Street location in Hamilton to apply pressure, even though RBI has said the decision is up to franchise owners.

“The parent company tells them how much to charge for sugar, how much to charge for their donuts, so it can say to them (franchise owners), ‘If you can’t pay your workers this wage that your government has put in as law, don’t cry to us,'” she said.

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“If Tim Hortons franchisees do it and get away with it, then other businesses are going to do the same, because ‘why shouldn’t we?'” she stressed.

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This isn’t the first series of protests held on the matter in the Hamilton area. A previous demonstration took place in Dundas, and another outside RBI headquarters in Oakville.

READ MORE: Protest held at Tim Hortons in Dundas after reports of cuts to employee benefits

The National day of action against cuts also includes protests in Toronto, Calgary, Halifax and Vancouver.