Workers at Tim Hortons locations, owned by the children of the co-founders of the original franchise, claim they have reduced staff perks as an offset to Ontario’s increased minimum wage.
The Canadian Press reports that Jeri Horton-Joyce and Ron Joyce Jr. wrote a letter to employees at their two Tim Hortons restaurants in Cobourg, writing that those who want to continue receiving dental and health benefits will have to pay a portion of the plan's costs themselves.
Employees who have been with the restaurant for over five years will have to pay half, with those having worked between six months and five years will pay 75%.
The letter to employees read: “We apologize for these changes.
“Once the costs of the future are better known we may bring back some or all of the benefits we have had to remove.”
"Breaks will no longer be paid," the letter adds. "A 9-hour shift will be paid for 8 hours and 20 minutes."
The owners cited a “lack of assistance and financial help" from their "head office and government” in the letter, adding that their overall decision came from “intense discussions with management and numerous small business owners in the area and other franchise owners”.
The Canadian Press also added that the couple claimed the changes also come in anticipation of another $1 bump at the start of next year.
The publication reports that a Tim Hortons spokesperson declined to comment on the couple's statement. However, they did add that franchises are responsible for all employment matters, which includes benefits and salaries.
In an emailed statement, the spokesperson wrote: “Our focus continues to be on supporting our restaurant owners by growing sales and profitability through a balanced and multifaceted strategy while ensuring we provide our guests with great experiences.”