Tim Hortons: No More Tips

Tim Hortons Owners say no more tips for employees

On January 1st the amount paid to employees earning minimum wage went up from $11.60 to $14 in the province of Ontario and barely a week into the new year there is already a lot of controversy brewing as Tim Hortons brass have faught back.

Employees working at two Tim Hortons locations in the city of Cobourg Ontario, received letters from Ron Joyce Jr. and Jeri Horton-Joyce stating that to counteract the wage increase, they would no longer be allowed paid breaks and they would also have to pony up for some of their own health care coverage.

Another Tim Hortons location in the city of Scarborough has also banned their employees from receiving tips, and on a notice posted to the employee bulletin board, employees were ordered to put tips that they receive into the till.

This is technically within the rights of the store owner, who has the right to decide if their employees can receive tips or not, however Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne calls the move “not decent.”

Wynne stands up for Tim Hortons front line workers

Wynne is speaking up to defend Tim Hortons employees, stating that if franchize owners have a problem with the new minimum wage, then they need to take it up with the government and not take it out on their employees.

“Asking minimum-wage workers to sign a pledge acknowledging that their breaks will now go unpaid or agreeing to only receive eight hours pay for a nine-hour day is not decent and it’s not fair,” she said. “It is the act of a bully.

“If Mr. Joyce wants to pick a fight, I urge him to pick it with me and not those working the pickup window and service counter of his stores. Tim Hortons is an important part of the daily life of many Canadian families. Paying our workers a decent living wage is also important. I hope Mr. Joyce will choose to reverse his approach,” she said.

According to a statement released by advocacy group for Tim Hortons franchises, the Great White North Franchisee, store owners have been left with few options resulting from the increase in minimum wage for their employees.

“As far as what’s going on in individual stores I don’t have access to all that information,” Patti Jameson told the Star Friday.

When it comes to the minimum wage that workers are paid, Ontario has come a long way to improving the situation over the years.

With inflation when it comes to the cost of basic life simply sky rocketing, one could argue that the increase in minimum wage should have taken a more sudden upwards trend to meet inflation head on; for example, more of a gradual increase opposed to this recent sudden significant increase.

According to Chris Buckley, the president of the Ontario Federation of Labour, Tim Hortons are the first Canadian company to fight back against the new minimum wage for their employees.

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About the Author: Brad Bennett

Brad is a former Senior Fellow at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University, is an award-winning travel, culture, and parenting writer. His writing has appeared in many of the Canada's most respected and credible publications, including the Toronto Star, CBC News and on the cover of Smithsonian Magazine. A meticulous researcher who’s not afraid to be controversial, he is nationally known as a journalist who opens people’s eyes to the realities behind accepted practices in the care of children. Brad is a contributing journalist to Advocator.ca

1 Comment

  1. Tim Hortons not only one mistreating employees. Was eating at Union Chicken Toronto and heard that their boss was taking away the tip I was going to give! What’s the point of tipping? I want my tip to go to the employees who contributed to the service I got; Union Chicken/Tim Hortons would have gotten more of my repeat business as a benefit. Knowing this, I no longer find their food tastes as good. I will definitely pass on the word. Very sad…

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