Minimum wages is a balancing act

Tracy Molyneaux

"It's good that our province is recognizing that it costs a little bit more to live here" said Tracy Molyneaux

Labour activists have also set up a website promising workers a secure place to anonymously complain about actions taken by their managers and franchise owners in the wake of minimum wage legislation. Notably there would be no more paid breaks, and employees would have to pay 75 per cent of the cost of their benefits.

"You are a worker, you work for a company, you deserve the wages, you deserve the benefits, you shouldn't be reclassified as an independent as a way to avoid the benefits and avoid the other kinds of opportunities that come like vacation pay and those kind of things".

A statement from Tim Hortons released on Friday said the cuts "do not reflect the values of our brand, the views of our company or the views of the overwhelming majority of our dedicated and hardworking Restaurant Owners" and that staff "should never be used to further an agenda or be treated as just an 'expense"'.

Some Tim Hortons franchises have faced significant backlash after cutting paid breaks and forcing workers to cover some of their dental and health benefits to compensate for the minimum wage jump from $11.60 and hour to $14 an hour last week, while chains such as Pizza Nova say they will be upping prices instead. She could have made paid breaks for employees mandatory, and declined. They were told they'd have to sign a pledge saying they agreed.

However, it said, "While our Restaurant Owners, like all small business owners, have found this sudden transition challenging, we are committed to helping them work through these changes".

"I'll be blunt. 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 pick-up window and service counter of his stores".

"We are offended that she has mischaracterized Jeri Horton-Joyce and Ron Joyce Jr.in this way", the statement read.

Ontarians everywhere - and lots of Canadians elsewhere too - muttered, "You go, Premier!". Just watch, it won't be hard for her to tie the bullying opposition to the minimum-wage increase to the would-be bullies of the Conservative Opposition in Queen's Park.

A Hamilton-area Tim Hortons is under fire for its response to Ontario's new minimum wage laws.

It was on the first of October past year that the minimum wage in Newfoundland and Labrador increased by 25 cents to $11.00 per hour.

What did Kathleen Wynne think when she pushed through a massive minimum wage increase, when she was repeatedly warned by industry that this would cause the loss of 50,000 jobs, which has now been increased to 60,000 jobs, according to a report from the Bank of Canada?

"This is not the first time the media have gotten worked up about the wrong numbers", observed Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives analyst Michal Rozworski in a thoughtful commentary on how the note was reported and what it actually said.

One of their original employees, Michael Laskaris, chimed in online.

But the restaurant lobby, as a number of observers noted, has been strangely quiet lately hereabouts.

One segment, however, says the minimum wage hike doesn't help at all: self-employed workers. "The Ontario Federation of Labour will mobilize across the province to make sure every worker is protected under the law". Next, presumably, the campaign will move to provinces like B.C. "So increasing it will make people want to stay at a minimum-wage job".

The letter was shared online more than 1,500 times as of Wednesday.

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