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

Toronto pizza joint takes heat for removing gluten-free oven

This hot chocolate in Toronto comes with a red velvet muffin on top

Here's a list of all the new Farm Boy locations coming to Toronto

Mandarin restaurant birthday hashtag hijacked by nutrition critics

3 Brewers is shutting down all of its Toronto locations except for one

American chain Dapper Doughnut is opening its first Toronto location

The 15 most fun bars in Toronto

Toronto just got a restaurant specializing in donkey meat