HEADLINE Fast food chains slash benefits in response to Ontario minimum wage hike


Fast food chains slash benefits in response to Ontario minimum wage hike

By Chi Jingyi | People's Daily app

16:24, January 06, 2018


Screenshot of Tim Hortons' logo from official website. (Photo: Tim Hortons)

Ontario-based low-wage employees may lose their paid breaks, benefits and perks in a corporate backlash against the government raising the minimum wage.

Ontario raised the wage from $11.60 to $14 starting January 1 and the figure is expected to reach $15 next year.

In response, fast food giant Tim Hortons, the Canadian version of McDonald’s, sent staff members a letter signed by Ron Joyce Jr, son of co-founder Ron Joyce, indicating they must agree to eliminating paid breaks and asking them to pay the majority of costs associated with benefits.


A Canadian citizen reacts to the camera after purchasing coffee, timbits and a sandwich of newly opened Tim Hortons coffee shop in San Pedro Garza Garcia, Mexico, October 27, 2017. (Photo: Daniel Becerril/ Reuters)

A spokesman for Ron Joyce Jr. told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC news) “They, Ron and his sister Jeri Lynn Horton-Joyce, like many Ontarians, are hard-working small-business owners who are striving to keep their business viable and keep all of their employees employed."


Sunset Grill, popular chain breakfast restaurant in Ontario. (File photo)

Not only Tim Hortons. Sunset Grill, a popular Ontario chain breakfast restaurant, is requiring extra pay from servers "to ensure the continuation of successful operations following the increase in minimum wage rates."

A Sunset Grill server told CBC news on condition of anonymity that “people are very upset about it” and that their wage increase was now effectively nil.

Columnist and freelance writer Andray Domise said that there will be a 25 percent increase in tipping clawbacks coinciding with the 20 percent increase in the minimum wage. It was unclear how the clawback would work.

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