After two Tim Hortons franchises in Ontario took away employee benefits in response to the recent province-wide minimum wage hike, Premier Kathleen Wynne scolded the owners in an open war of words.
The owners just so happened to be the children of Ron Joyce, the billionaire co-founder of the brand itself. In response to the cutbacks, Wynne called Joyce a “bully” and gave a biting statement directed to him last week:
“If Mr. Joyce wants to pick a fight, I urge him to pick it with me and not those working the pick-up window and service counter of his stores.”
But the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) thinks that if there’s anyone to blame, it’s Wynne herself. Dan Kelly, the head of the federation, spoke to Global News and said they had repeatedly warned Wynne and the Liberals of the detrimental effects of an increased minimum wage and they went forward with it anyway.
Kelly slammed Wynne for implementing minimum wage hike without taking the time to consider its possible consequences: “Premier Wynne's shock over a reduction in employee benefits would have a lot more credibility if she had ordered even a basic impact assessment of the minimum wage hike before proceeding,” he tweeted.
Despite these criticisms of Wynne, several Canadians directed their anger towards Tim Hortons. They believe it’s still the company’s responsibility to put their employees first, and to find ways to remedy the effects of the minimum wage hike without punishing those who are working at their front lines. Some have even called for a boycott of the brand, though Kelly thinks that would solve nothing.
“[Boycotting] will further hurt the very employees that they pretend to be sympathetic towards… they’re certainly not going to be helping those employees they pretend to care about,” he told Global News.
He goes on to say that it’s unrealistic to expect any company to adapt to the wage changes when they increase so drastically in such a short amount of time.
Which side are you on?