Tim Hortons protests sweep Toronto amidst minimum wage scandal
Canadian coffee drinkers are using their money (or lack thereof) this week to show Tim Hortons how they feel about its response to Ontario's recent minimum wage hike.
At least nine different protests are taking place this morning outside of Tim Hortons stores in Toronto alone, with thousands more online pledging to boycott the chain until it restores breaks and benefits to its workers.
Action at @TimHortons to stop wage and benefit cutbacks! #15andFairness today at Dufferin and bloor. People driving by honking in support and dropping by to express their support for workers! #boycottTimHortons #onpoli pic.twitter.com/KbwxIEDyhu— Deena Ladd (@DeenaLadd) January 10, 2018
The controversy began last week after someone leaked a letter from a Coburg, Ontario Tim Hortons store owned by children of the coffee chain's founders.
Employees were told in that letter that they would be losing a number of different benefits and incentives, including paid breaks and sick days, as a result of the new $14 standard minimum wage.
Let's all show our #solidarity and #support for Tim Horton workers! This is not ok! SIGN THE PETITION - Tell @TimHortons: hands off workers’ wages and benefits! #15andFairness #BoycottTimHortons https://t.co/KYDV6RD0ov— Anne Bertrand-Roy (@aroy75) January 10, 2018
Later in the week, staff at a Scarborough location came forward to say that they were no longer allowed to accept tips for the same reason.
People across the country – including Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne – have been criticizing the company (which brought in $4.15 billion during 2016 alone) in droves ever since.
#boycottTimHortons is a case study in today’s business and political landscape. How can a company so heavily depended on the very market it employs afford to be so tone-deaf to the impact of their actions? Sounds like a political statement to me, and an expensive one. pic.twitter.com/5SgVph2Edu— Educated_Guess (@GuessEducated) January 10, 2018
The movement is spreading, if social media traction is any indication.
Angry longtime customers and advocates are sharing their thoughts, photos and encouraging others to boycott Tim Hortons using the hashtags #IStandWithTimHortonsWorkers...
#IStandWithTimHortonsWorkers. I'm so proud of the thousands participating in demonstrations across Ontario today. I will boycott all @TimHortons franchises until they listen to us and pay for all breaks. #onpoli— Kim Crawley (@kim_crawley) January 10, 2018
@TimHortons— James Morrison (@JdMorrison98) January 10, 2018
Loyal customer for over 20 years, but your nickle and dime attitude towards employees is shameful. I'd rather pay a little more for coffee to cover the min wage increase. Positive top executives won't cut their bonuses.#boycottTimHortons #TimHortons #MinimumWage
I went to McDonald's this morning instead of Tim's. McDonald's has free refills, every 7 coffees are free and the coffee tastes better. Tim's has lost me forever.#TimHortonsboycott— Devon Saunders (@SecretChipmunk) January 10, 2018
Capitalism has taught us to feel fear and sympathy when the local Tim Horton’s franchise owner takes a 1% hit in revenue, instead of fighting for a worker who has a full-time job and still needs the food bank. #onpoli #MinimumWage #FightFor15 #RaiseTheWage #capitalism #cdnpoli— hollyprice (@hollyprice) January 4, 2018
Or no hashtags at all.
I forget which day we're supposed to boycott Tim Hortons so I'm just gonna boycott them forever to be safe.— Paul Frank (@pwgfrank) January 10, 2018
Demonstrations are set to continue throughout the province today. A full list of actions taking place in the GTA is available online via the Ontario Federation of Labour.
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