IT BEGINS: Ontario Tim Hortons restaurant slashes benefits amid higher minimum wage

In the province of Ontario, the minimum wage went up to $14 as of January 1, 2018. It is scheduled to increase to $15 next year. Despite the many warnings from various business associations and economists, Premier Kathleen Wynne and the Liberals went ahead anyway in a desperate act for some votes ahead of the election.

Some Ontario businesses are beginning to respond to the minimum wage hikes.

The owners of a Tim Hortons in Cobourg, Ontario announced a series of cost-cutting measures: slashed health and dental benefits and the elimination of paid breaks.

“These changes are due to the increase of wages to $14.00 minimum wage on January 1, 2018, then $15.00 per hour on January 1, 2019, as well as the lack of assistance and financial help from our Head Office and from the Government,” a letter posted to Facebook states.

Tim Hortons has responded to the changes, noting that nearly all of the company’s restaurants are independently owned and operated.

“Almost all of our restaurants in Canada are independently owned and operated by small business Owners who are responsible for handling all employment matters,” the coffee chain said in a statement. “Including all policies for benefits and wages, for their restaurants.”

Profit margins for any fast-food company are minuscule. It won’t just be the Tim Hortons of the world to react to higher labor costs, it will be a myriad of other businesses. But it’s the big chains that are generating the headlines.

Photo by: ynwa_17 via flickr.

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