Ontario premier accuses Tim Hortons’ heirs of bullying workers

Kathleen Wynne tells founders’ kids to pick a fight with her, not the employees

Ontario premier accuses Tim Hortons’ heirs of bullying workers
The premier of Ontario, Kathleen Wynne, spoke out against the children of Tim Hortons co-founders, after their franchise announced it would be cutting back staff benefits following the minimum wage hike.

The Canadian Press reports that Wynne labelled the decision as a “clear act of bullying”, adding if Ron Joyce Jr., whose father co-founded chain, was opposed to the government’s move, he should pick a fight with her – not the workers.

“I'd be happy if this man were making a statement about the government or about the policy,'' she said in a statement.

“What I think is really unfair, and where I think the bullying comes in, is that he's taking this out on his employees. He's behaving in a way that I think is so unfair to his employees, people who are trying to make ends meet.”

Earlier this week, it became known that Jeri Horton-Joyce and Ron Joyce Jr had sent a letter to employees at their two restaurants in Cobourg, explaining that breaks would no longer be paid and that perks such as dental would be less subsidised.

Wynne went on to say: “When I read the reports about Ron Joyce, Jr., who is a man whose family founded Tim Hortons, the chain was sold for billions of dollars, and when I read how he was treating his employees, it just felt to me like this was a pretty clear act of bullying.”

“I hope that he understands this is really not a decent thing to be doing in a place as wealthy as Ontario,'' she continued. “I hope he recognizes that his employees need to be treated decently.”

The letter from the Tim Hortons heirs explained how the pair “apologize for the changes” but emphasised that a “lack of assistance and financial help" from their "head office and government” went some way in determining their mindset.

The letter also claimed that “once the costs of the future are better known” they may “bring back some or all of the benefits we have had to remove”.

Related stories:
Tim Hortons' franchisees cut back staff benefits after minimum wage hike
Supermarket giant’s fears over minimum wage hike

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