For those of you not in the know, Tim Hortons or “Timmies” as Canadians lovingly refer to it, is a staple of Canadian culture. The coffee chain is to Canucks what over-priced Starbucks is to so many across the United States and China.
It’s also become the punching bag for its workers and loyal customers after a massive minimum wage hike hit the province of Ontario at the start of the month of January.
The son and daughter of cofounders Ron Joyce and the iconic Tim Horton himself, decided they weren’t going to take the imposed $2.40 per hour raise laying down.
Ron Joyce Jr. and his wife, Jeri-Lynn Horton-Joyce chose a surprising way to send a message to the public about their displeasure about the wage increase, imposing cutbacks on the various perks offered to employees in their Cobourg, Ontario store:
Now that you’re good and angry, I’m sure, I’d like to do a 180 here and explain some of the surprising things I’ve learned over the last couple of weeks.
First, I’m a resident in Cobourg (Ie., The Friendliest Town in Canada). So I’ve seen the picketers and viewed more newspaper articles on this subject than I would normally care to otherwise.
On the outside, this looks like a clear human rights violation on the owner’s part, and a sully to their parent’s legacy.
And it is definitely, as the franchise proudly places signage throughout their stores talking about the benefits of working for them: Paid breaks and benefits, free uniforms, educational assistance, and more at varying levels for both full and part time workers.
And minimum wage wasn’t so bad for those who work there, in the days when gratuities were the norm, rather than the rarity they are with debit, credit, and pre-paid Tim’s cards excepted for even the smallest purchase these days.
To my understanding, Tim Hortons and its founders realize that the minimum wage was nothing more than a political move aimed at re-election and collecting more taxes.
They decided they weren’t going to let politics get in the way of profits.
Workers and Tim Horton’s lose, more income tax gets collected.
It seems the minimum wage earners in the province didn’t count on being bumped into a higher tax bracket when the wage jump happened at the start of the year.
A minimum wage earner, working full time can expect around $384 more on their paychecks every month after the increase. However, with the higher tax bracket, they’ll also lose another $100 a month in taxes, on top of the taxes they paid previously. And that’s not all.
Inside sources say that these figures, combined with the cost of paying more toward their benefits, will result in a $51 loss each paycheck.
Wasn’t the increase supposed to help poorer Canadian workers get by better?
And, since Tim Hortons and other large and small business owners are finding ways to ease their new financial burden, and prepare for an additional dollar being added ($15) in January 2019; few in the province can expect many perks to be added to their jobs in the near future.
Who’s the bad guy here?
Tim Hortons employees and the social-savvy buying public are obviously outraged at the owners of this store. However, the brunt of social media discussions point to the Ontario government as the big bad wolf at the door of this controversy.
Right or wrong, the wealthiest Tim Horton’s franchise owners in the world decided to draw first blood after the minimum wage increased a few weeks ago.
One thing is for sure: The one group that’s supposed to benefit most from a massive wage increase ended up getting the shortest end of the stick.
Main Image Credit: CBC.ca