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Old January 10th, 2018, 12:36 PM   #1
end capitalism now
 
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Meanwhile, Up Here In Canada:

Tim Hortons heirs cut paid breaks and worker benefits after minimum wage hike, employees say
http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/tim-...bour-1.4470215

Up here, the big story today has been the boycott of some Tim Hortons franchises that decided to cut a pound of flesh out of their employees to to make up for an increase in our minimum wage.

Quote:
Employees at an Ontario Tim Hortons owned by the children of the chain's founders say they have been told to sign a document acknowledging they are losing paid breaks, paid benefits, and other incentives as a result of the province's minimum wage hike.

"I feel that we are getting the raw end of the stick," said one front line employee who asked to remain anonymous out of fear of losing their job.

Tim Hortons owner announces lower profits, higher prices
The franchise is located in Cobourg, Ont., about 115 kilometres east of Toronto. The owners are Ron Joyce Jr. and Jeri-Lynn Horton-Joyce, the son and daughter of the chain's co-founders, Ron Joyce and the late Tim Horton, respectively. Employees say they are married.


In the document, copies of which were obtained by CBC News, Ron Joyce Jr. Enterprises wrote:
Letter cutting paid breaks
A picture of the document outlining cuts to paid breaks due to Ontario's minimum wage hike employees at Tim Hortons say they were told to sign.

"Breaks will no longer be paid. A 9 hour shift will be paid for 8 hours and 20 minutes."

"These changes are due to the increase of wages to $14.00 minimum wage on January 1, 2018, then $15.00 per hour on January 1, 2019, as well as the lack of assistance and financial help from our Head Office and from the Government."

The letter is signed "Sincerely, Jeri, Ron and Lisa."

Tim Hortons parent earns $91.4M US in third quarter

Non-union employees in Ontario are covered by the Employment Standards Act.

Tim Hortons Division Street Cobourg
The Tim Hortons location on Division Street in Cobourg, Ont. Employees got a letter outlining increased benefits costs and cutting paid breaks due to the province's minimum wage hike. (James Pickersgill)

The act doesn't require employers to give employees coffee breaks or any other kind of break other than eating periods.

Meal breaks are unpaid unless the employee's employment contract requires payment.

Tim Hortons franchisee group files lawsuit against parent

"Organizations are finding ways to transition to a higher minimum wage. We are encouraging them to work together to share best practices and innovations," said a spokesperson for Ontario's Ministry of Labour in an email to CBC News.

"The Ministry of Labour is dedicated to ensuring Ontario workers are protected and know their rights under the Employment Standards Act."

James Pickersgill
Cobourg resident James Pickersgill posted a copy of the letter to local Tim Hortons employees on Facebook. (James Pickersgill)

Besides losing paid breaks, the document states workers with more than five years of service will have to pay 50 per cent of the cost of benefits, and employees with between six months and five years service will have to pay 75 per cent.

An employee with more than five years service told CBC News that prior to this, their benefits were covered 100 per cent by the company.

Order up! Two triple-triples and a wedding

"That was a big benefit for the people who work at Tim Hortons, because it's not a great paying job," said the employee, who said they were making $13 an hour prior to the minimum wage hike.

"The benefits are what kept me there. Now you are going to make me pay that.

"I don't understand why you can take it away. Sounds like you are penalizing your staff because the government is trying to help your staff," they said.

Employees are also losing incentives for working on their birthday and for working six months without taking a sick day.

Tim Hortons is hiring to feed 'huge' U.K. expansion

"We did receive this letter. I have not signed it and I still have it," said another front line employee who also asked to remain anonymous.

"My shift has 15-year-olds, and I feel they should be taking the letter home to their parents to read before they sign anything," they said.

Wage hike but worse off?
Another employee said that with unpaid breaks and having to pay 50 per cent of the cost of benefits, their biweekly paycheque will actually be $51 dollars lower than it was before the minimum wage hike.

"I've worked for the company for a very long time, and I was very upset. I wasn't marching down the street asking for this pay raise. Now I'm worse off," they said.

James Pickersgill, a Cobourg resident whose friend's spouse works at one of the Cobourg locations, posted a picture of the document on his Facebook page. It was shared more than 600 times in less than 24 hours.

"Cobourg's a small place. Word of mouth goes mental. People are talking about it wildly," said Pickersgill.

He said some people are pointing to this situation as a reason why the minimum wage should not have gone up, because it forces small businesses into difficult decisions. But a far greater number of people are outraged, he said.

No comment
"People are talking about boycotting their stores, and saying 'I'll go to another [Tim Hortons], but I won't go to that one,'" said Pickersgill.

Employees say the owners of the franchises are at their winter home in Florida.

A woman answering the phone at the Tim Hortons location on Division Street in Cobourg, who said she was the manager, told CBC News she had no comment.

In an email to CBC News, Tim Hortons corporate media relations said:

"Almost all of our restaurants in Canada are independently owned and operated by small business Owners who are responsible for handling all employment matters, including all policies for benefits and wages, for their restaurants."

"Restaurant Owners are expected to comply with all applicable laws and regulations within their jurisdiction."
Now, I can tell you from personal knowledge that present day franchise owners may have the liabilities of being small business operators, BUT the mother corporation has strings attached to all major business decisions made by a franchise owner: they have no choice over store opening and closing hours(usually 24 hour service), offering drive thru service, products that must be offered/and not offered for sale, store renovations and costs of those renovations(often when the mother corp wants to change stuff like color schemes), how many staff to have on duty at different times of the day, and the hourly rate of pay for staff...none of these decisions are up to a mere franchise owner. Certainly when the owners are the disgusting heirs of the founder and still major shareholders in the company, a different calculation must be made! But the corporation should not be allowed to wash their hands of this controversy and claim that it's just a matter for individual franchise owner to deal with! I can tell you that at least one original franchise owner(with a far less restrictive contract) was bought out at a good price directly by the corporation BECAUSE he refuse to allow his three stores to stay open after midnight, refused to open drive thru's or build new replacement stores after following through once on the company's request, and worst of all: offered a higher rate of pay than surrounding franchise owners were giving their Tim Horton's employees. His reasons were simple and clear: offering higher pay greatly reduced the time and costs of frequent hiring and firing of employees...but since many of his new hirees were workers at other Horton's franchises, this raised an obvious stink with those owners...two of whom owned greater numbers of outlets. So, all that is in the past, and today's owners...like most fast food restaurant franchise owners have much less wiggle room to offer more or less money to employees than the company directors(the ultimate profiteers) want!

BTW the minimum wage in Ontario is now $14.00 per hour, planned to peak at $15 next year. Our dollar is worth slightly less (about 15 to 20%) than the US Dollar, so all of you progressives south of the border who felt "The Bern" last year and consider the Fight For Fifteen a core issue, we're seeing the kind of attacks from the business community and their media, BUT there are still a number of union members up here like yours truly, who consider it a part of our extended efforts to fight for employee rights even when its in places that do not have the option of joining a union...maybe that's another cause you might want to work on next....just sayin!

And I forgot to add that today- Jan 10th was the day of a boycott of these Timmies locations..one of which was in my hometown and had some of us friendly card-carrying union members to bump up the numbers of picketers and offer moral support to minimum wage earners.

'Greed is not OK': Backlash grows against Tim Hortons worker benefit cuts
http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/tim-...fits-1.4480097
Thanks from Hollywood and Clara007

Last edited by right to left; January 10th, 2018 at 12:50 PM.
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Old January 10th, 2018, 12:41 PM   #2
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They are free to find a "better" job.

I think Canada did finally outlaw indentured servitude.
Thanks from roastpork and right to left
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Old January 10th, 2018, 12:45 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by RNG View Post
They are free to find a "better" job.

I think Canada did finally outlaw indentured servitude.
I hope so! It's coming back to America in the form of the Prison Industrial Complex, so we need to keep on our guard.
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Old January 10th, 2018, 01:00 PM   #4
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I studied this in some detail, and by study, I of course mean read a whole bunch of "expert's" opinions of the effect this will have.

There is a consensus that about 60k to 90k jobs will be lost across the three provinces that are quickly raising MW, BC, Alberta and Ontario.

Roughly half of these reports claim that the negative effect will dissipate in 2020 or so and it will all be rainbows and unicorns. But ...

One big thing that quite a few of these pundits brought up is that each province varies.

Probably a hike to $15/hr would be not too, too bad in Toronto, a city of 6.5 million, but down the road a bit at the center of our car building industry, Windsor, anything more than $12/hr increase will hurt badly. So of course the government can't do that without pissing off a whole bunch of workers in Windsor, and yes, there is an election coming up.

But one consistent criticism of Ontario is that they are increasing it too fast.

Minimum wage hikes could cost Canada's economy 60,000 jobs by 2019 - Business - CBC News

$15 minimum wage could cost 90K new jobs, but long-term outlook positive: TD | CBC News
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Old January 10th, 2018, 01:43 PM   #5
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I remember working as a non union carpenter in the early 60's for 3.50 and hour, the Union guys were getting $6.10 and hour, and I thought I was in heaven.
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Old January 10th, 2018, 07:25 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RNG View Post
I studied this in some detail, and by study, I of course mean read a whole bunch of "expert's" opinions of the effect this will have.

There is a consensus that about 60k to 90k jobs will be lost across the three provinces that are quickly raising MW, BC, Alberta and Ontario.

Roughly half of these reports claim that the negative effect will dissipate in 2020 or so and it will all be rainbows and unicorns. But ...

One big thing that quite a few of these pundits brought up is that each province varies.

Probably a hike to $15/hr would be not too, too bad in Toronto, a city of 6.5 million, but down the road a bit at the center of our car building industry, Windsor, anything more than $12/hr increase will hurt badly. So of course the government can't do that without pissing off a whole bunch of workers in Windsor, and yes, there is an election coming up.

But one consistent criticism of Ontario is that they are increasing it too fast.

Minimum wage hikes could cost Canada's economy 60,000 jobs by 2019 - Business - CBC News

$15 minimum wage could cost 90K new jobs, but long-term outlook positive: TD | CBC News
Thanks! Looks like I should be changing banks too! Amazing how raising the minimum wage to 14 and next year-$15 per hour is going to cause mass unemployment, but when Jeff Bezos's net worth goes up $15 billion since the summer, that concentration of wealth causes no job losses!

That point about automotive is a prime example of why these assholes wanted so called "free trade" 30 years ago. It's all about making sure capital can flee and move about anywhere in the world where people can be put to work cheaply...we're already seeing slave labor on the comback trail, I would expect it to become the norm again if capitalism survives the end of cheap oil! If it wasn't for cheap energy, slavery would have never ended in the first place! Before free trade...even in the era of bilateral trade agreements like the Auto Pact, nations could protect their own economies from international oligarchs, but as the TD economists want to tell us, they can ruin the Canadian economy if we refuse to play ball the way they want us to!

Ultimately, I don't give a crap, because I know damn well(and this is what the American left needs to gear up for) the oligarchs in our capitalist system want US-style neoliberalism and are going to be inclined to outsource industry and profits just to punish us plebes for asking for too much. Actually the same claims have been made in many US cities that have raised their minimum wages.

It's a matter of what's right and whether we should keep allowing our economic system to be run by and for the benefit of a tiny elite who think they should get to decide our collective fate.
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