They included the Tim Hortons at the corner of Goyeau St and Park St E in downtown Windsor, where a group of about 20 people gathered at 10 a.m. Wednesday morning.
Labour union activists are planning a protest for an east-end Tim Hortons in Guelph on Wednesday in support of minimum wage workers and to speak out against benefit clawbacks experienced by employees at other franchise locations.
Groups including the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, Restaurants Canada and the Canadian Franchise Association have been highly critical of the province's plan, which implemented a minimum wage hike to $14 as of January 1, a figure that will rise to $15 in January 2019.
Protests have been scheduled at more than a dozen Tim Hortons locations across the province throughout the day.
Organizers said they hope such rallies will send a message to Tim Hortons and its parent company, Restaurant Brands International. "And we are not going to stop, actually, until they make this happen. This is an opportunity to perhaps maybe, maybe not organize in terms being unionized but certainly to reach out.if you don't know what your rights are, we can give you advice".
RBI and franchisees have publicly sparred over alleged mismanagement and filed several lawsuits against each other in recent months. But some franchisees argue the corporation, which controls prices, should help owners grappling with the mandated wage hike. "The current owners, 3G Capital/Restaurant Brands International, a Brazilian company, purchased the Tim Hortons chain in 2014 for $12.5 billion dollars (not $11.4 billion as stated by the Premier), nearly a decade after Ron Joyce Sr. sold his interests in Tim Hortons", the franchisee association said.
Parent company Restaurant Brands International had already pointed the finger back at its own franchisees in a statement.
Premier Kathleen Wynne's stance on the Tim Hortons owner picking a fight with her instead of the employees comes a little late. The chain called the cuts reckless and completely unacceptable, adding staff "should never be used to further an agenda or be treated as just an 'expense"'.
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