Tim Hortons backlash grows as protests ignite across Ontario

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Employees with more than five years service will now have to pay for half or more of their benefits, in some instances, which were previously paid for by the employer, and their 15 minute breaks will no longer be paid for.

Employees complained to the media, the media lapped it up, and the premier stormed to the workers' defence.

Tim Horton was a professional hockey defence man who played for twenty-four seasons in the National Hockey League, before tragically losing his life at the age of 44 in a single vehicle accident in 1974 whilst returning home to Buffalo, USA.

The backlash against both Tim Hortons and individual franchise owners continues to rage after some owners cut employee benefits to offset Ontario's minimum wage hike.

The brand says that the benefit cuts were not ordered or endorsed by the corporation and that the statements of a "rogue group" do not reflect the brand's values. The Great White North Franchisee Association was started by the franchisees in an effort to protect themselves. Unlike his father, it said, Ron Jr. has only ever been a franchisee like any other.

In the long run, I'm not almost so sure it's a guaranteed political victor.

And behind the doors of other local businesses, owners are reassuring their employees face-to-face.

This web of anti-union advocacy groups includes the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, Restaurants Canada, the Workplace Democracy Institute of Canada, the Merit Contractors Association, "Working Canadians", and the Canadian Labour Watch Association - often led by the same people in multiple board and executive roles. "Unfortunately", he told reporters, "it appears some employers are abandoning the spirit of this legislation".

Business owners' predictions of anticipated problems with the minimum wage are right on the money.

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Having said that, I sympathize with franchise owners in their battle with Restaurant Brands International squeezing their margins after taking over.

Similar rallies at Tim Horton locations were also held in Windsor, Toronto, Ottawa, and Cobourg.

The coffee chain has released a statement condemning the choice of the franchise owners, saying employees shouldn't be treated as an expense or to "further an agenda".

Yes, setting minimum wages is a balancing act. It will increase another dollar to $15 on January 1, 2019.

Chatham-Kent has a tremendous number of business owners who go above and beyond on a regular basis to make our community a better place to live, and maybe we've just taken them for granted.

When supermarkets promise to automate checkouts and lay off workers, minimum wage proponents scoff that they were planning to do that anyway - which is of no help whatsoever to a laid-off cashier.

A business whose model for success is based on keeping their employees living in poverty is loathsome. "This is only one example of a recurring pattern of business-friendly bias in the media". In 2015 the average benefit plan for a full-time employee cost about $8,000, according to the Conference Board of Canada.

Kathleen Wynne said if Ron Joyce Jr., whose father co-founded the coffee shop chain, was opposed to the Liberal government's decision to raise the minimum wage, he should have picked a fight with her, not the workers.

"That's a significant increase to workers, the previous wage was $11.60/hour". She's an attack ad waiting to happen. Wynne had four years to move boldly but more gradually to $15, and declined.

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