A Tim Hortons franchise run by the heirs to the famous hockey player’s estate (yes, that Tim Horton) are getting roasted on Twitter after blaming Ontario’s minimum wage increase for recent cuts to benefits, incentives and paid breaks.
After a minimum wage increase in Ontario that took effect at the beginning of this year, bumping workers’ earnings up to $14 an hour from $11.86, Jeri-Lynn Horton-Joyce (Tim Horton’s daughter) and Ron Joyce Jr. (the son of Ron Joyce, who co-founded the chain) decided to cut their employees’ paid breaks and benefits at a franchise they own. Joyce and Horton, who are married, run their franchise out of Cobourg, Ontario.
The cuts at this particular Tim Hortons came to light in a letter to their employees, which was posted on Facebook in late December and first reported by CBC News. The letter says that the changes “are due to the increase of wages to $14.00 minimum wage on January 2, 2018, then $15.00 per hour on January 1, 2019, as well as the lack of assistance and financial help from our Head Office and from the Government.”
As a complete side note, that’s included in here for no real reason, Ron Joyce Jr’s father's net worth is estimated by Forbes to be around $1.4 billion US. The online world reacted to this news exactly as you would expect it to.
The heirs aren’t the only ones to suggest a minimum wage increase hurts workers. A paper put out by the Bank of Canada recently estimated that the changes will cost Canada 60,000 jobs by the start of 2019.
The specific cuts at the Tim’s location includes no more paid breaks, meaning that “a 9 hour shift will be paid for 8 hours and 20 minutes.” The cuts require workers to cover half the cost of their health benefits after five years of employment, and cover 75 percent of the cost between six months and five years' employment. Two incentives, both for working on your birthday and working six months without a sick day, have also been pulled.
One employee told CBC that while the pay at Tim Hortons was never good (it sat around $13 an hour) the benefits were and that is why they stuck around.
"I don't understand why you can take it away. Sounds like you are penalizing your staff because the government is trying to help your staff," the employee told the national broadcaster.
Calls for a boycott, for both this restaurant and the chain as whole, made the rounds Wednesday. One of the employees at the location told the CBC that with their paid breaks cut they, even with the minimum wage increase, will be taking home less money at the end of the day.
Tim Horton corporate told the CBC in an email that “almost all of our restaurants in Canada are independently owned and operated by small business owners who are responsible for handling all employment matters.”
Follow Mack Lamoureux on Twitter