Labour Council: Tim Hortons workers need a voice

Protesters angered by some Ontario Tim Hortons franchisees who slashed workers' benefits and breaks after the province rais

Protests Set For Friday At Tim's Locations.

It was bad enough when Ontario's Liberal Premier Kathleen Wynne bullied a Tim Horton's franchisee - by calling him a "bully" -after he criticized her business-crippling minimum wage hike.

Friday's planned national protests follow similar demonstrations earlier this month at 16 Tim Hortons restaurants in Ontario, organized in response to a few franchises that clawed back workers benefits, paid breaks and other perks as a result of the minimum wage increase in Ontario from an $11.60 hourly rate to $14 at the start of the month.

It was one of about 50 protests organized at restaurants across the country, after workers at some Ontario restaurants learned they would no longer receive paid breaks, benefits and other incentives in response to provincial minimum wage increases that bumped up wages to $14 an hour, as of January 1.

Rallies were planned in cities across the country Friday against Tim Hortons franchisees who slash workers' benefits and breaks in light of Ontario's minimum wage increase.

Other cities involved in the protest include Calgary, Halifax, Saskatoon, Regina, Vancouver and two other cities in British Columbia.

The group stopped in front of the Tim Hortons to wave their signs and chant a message that has spread from the situation west of the province gaining national attention.

"When I said franchise owners should take their fight to me, I didn't mean they should use their employees as pawns", Wynne wrote in a post on Twitter.

Also present, the Canadian Labour Congress and the Fight for $15 and Fairness.

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Nova Scotia has the lowest minimum wage in Canada with the current minimum wage being $10.85.

"I think Mr. Horton would probably be shocked at what's going on in front of his building today", he said.

"When the government agreed to raise the minimum wage and improve employment standards in this province, the intent was to ensure that workers in precarious employment would be better off".

This included breaks no longer being paid and changes to dental and health benefits that, depending on seniority, would force employees to pay between 50 to 75 per cent of the cost of their benefits.

The Tim Hortons International refused any part in the statement, making it clear that every franchise was responsible for its own activity and does not speak for the brand's principles.

The minimum wage policy is popular with the majority of Ontario residents and most businesses are implementing it without complaint, he said.

After Ontario's minimum wage was raised to $14 on January 1, some franchise owners in the province came under fire for taking away employees' paid breaks and other benefits, as well as cutting hours for some employees.

"I'm just here to support the workers", said Elizabeth Ha, vice-president of the Ontario Federation of Labour (Workers of Colour).

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