Halifax rally to be held in solidarity with Ontario workers

Robyn Valdez
January 21, 2018

As part of a Canada-wide day of action today, in support of Tim Hortons workers in Ontario, the NLFL is "urging our affiliates to sign a petition addressing Daniel Schwartz, CEO Restaurant Brands International Inc".

Grey Bruce Labour Council President, Kevin Smith, points to jurisdictions such as Alberta where increases to the minimum wage he says have demonstrated they are good for all facets of the economy.

Backlash against some Tim Hortons franchisees for cutting employee benefits in the wake of Ontario's new minimum wage reached North Bay Friday.

"We're not boycotting Tim Hortons".

Roughly 50 protests against Tim Hortons are set to take place across the country, including one here in Halifax.

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LouAnn Binning, of the Niagara Regional Labour Council, said the information pickets - she is not calling them protests - were put together quickly, with the call only going out on Tuesday.

"Anyone who thinks that we can function effectively in the $15 world as a 15 cent jurisdiction is not being economically realistic. that's where our government is", said NDP leader, Gary Burrill.

Since then, reports surfaced about more cuts to health benefits, paid breaks, tips and other factors.

Protesters said big businesses like Tim Hortons could easily absorb a bump to minimum wage, but smaller restaurants would have to make some changes to accommodate the higher wage.

The decision made in Ontario wasn't necessarily easy to make - but sometimes it needs to happen in order to keep a business afloat, according to Marilyn Braun-Pollon, vice president of agri-business with the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB).

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Wynne says she's happy to talk to any business owner about the wage hike but says taking frustrations out on employees is not fair.

"It says labour is here to help everyone", she said.

Rally organizers said they're planning another rally in about a month and they believe it's important to keep the pressure on the province and big coporations to let them know their workers are watching.

Coates noted how Tim Hortons heirs Ron Joyce Jr. and Jeri-Lynn Horton-Joyce cut benefits and eliminated paid breaks at a Cobourg location.

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Other reports by Info About Network

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