Nationwide Day of Motion for Ontario Tim Hortons staff

WATCH Insight on controversy surrounding Tim Hortons protests

Organizers behind the protest campaign, dubbed Fight for $15 and Fairness, say the demonstrations planned at specific Tim Hortons franchises on Friday are not about the franchise owners themselves, but rather to pressure their parent company.

Friday's pickets, which were planned for cities across the country, came after similar demonstrations earlier this month at 16 Tim Hortons restaurants in Ontario.

Grey Bruce Labour Council President, Kevin Smith, points to jurisdictions such as Alberta where increases to the minimum wage he says have demonstrated they are good for all facets of the economy.

A group of people gathered at a Barrie Tim Hortons to show disapproval over reports that the restaurant chain has been reducing employee benefits to mitigate the minimum-wage increase.

After Ontario's minimum wage was raised to $14 on January 1, some franchise owners in the province came under fire for taking away employees' paid breaks and other benefits, as well as cutting hours for some employees.

When minimum wage is raised, people need to understand business owners face uncertainties, such as federal tax changes and increasing employment insurance, Braun-Pollon said.

"We're not boycotting Tim Hortons".




"This is just one slice of the hard decisions that Ontario business owners are having to face", she said.

"When a multimillion-dollar corporation isn't saying to their franchisees, 'that's not the way this is supposed to work, ' that's what we get upset with", she said.

But according to the Agnew Foods employee handbook listed on its website, workers are given a 30-minute paid meal break or two 15-minute paid breaks for the first five-hour shift or longer. It will jump to $15 in January 1, 2019.

"It says labour is here to help everyone", she said.

Coates noted how Tim Hortons heirs Ron Joyce Jr. and Jeri-Lynn Horton-Joyce cut benefits and eliminated paid breaks at a Cobourg location.

"They have to run their businesses", he said, suggesting price increases and other measures are to be expected given the speed at which the additional costs related to the legislation have been thrust upon businesses.

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