a&w toronto

Toronto upset at A&W after allegations of union busting

One of Toronto's favourite fast food burger chains is in hot water after the publication of a PressProgress exclusive accusing the company of union busting.

A summer conference organized by anti-union group LabourWatch saw representatives from A&W and other fast food corporations gather at the Toronto Airport Hilton

PressProgress says they obtained a recording from the conference in which A&W executives explain the tricks they use to keep their company union-free.

Nancy Wuttunee, Vice-President of A&W Canada’s department of People Potential, and Mike Atkinson, A&W’s regional VP for eastern Canada, allegedly said they keep a watch-list of specific franchise locations that may be at high risk of unionizing. 

Atkinson also allegedly said franchises located near other restaurants with unionized employees are considered high-risk. 

Wuttunee allegedly revealed that A&W has a so-called fire drill, which is a rapid-response crisis management process for responding to situations that may indicate an intent to unionize.

Workers have a right to collective bargaining in Canada, and Toronto is furious at the company for trying to hinder its employees' ability to do so. 

And many are saying they'll no longer buy from the fast food giant.  

Some are also pointing out the illegality of the whole thing.

At the conference, A&W reps also allegedly referenced Foodora workers' recent attempt to unionize. 

They allegedly expressed concerns of spillover risks if they succeed. 

Although the Foodora union vote has ended, there is still no resolution on the matter. 

As for A&W, they may have to come up with a new rapid-response crisis management process to handle this controversy. 

Lead photo by

Dani Stover


Join the conversation Load comments

Latest in Eat & Drink

7-Eleven is now selling Beyond Meat pizza in Toronto

Toronto could be getting a second Eataly location

The top 35 restaurants for pasta in Toronto

Toronto Restaurant Openings: Black Mill Tea, Maderas, Laera Bakery, Whack Ass Coffee

Downtown Toronto is getting a bar dedicated to milk tea

Toronto is getting all-you-can-eat gelato

Tim Hortons is now doing home delivery in Toronto

People are already planning to boycott Chick-fil-A when it opens in Toronto