Tim Hortons owner locks out and replaces workers over a 10 cent raise
Update: The lockout was lifted on January 10th. The workers are back at work but still negotiating with their employer.
Correction: A previous version of the story indicated workers were fired from their job. The workers were given two weeks’ notice by the employer and then were subsequently locked out of their jobs on January 3rd.
A Tim Hortons franchise owner in Winnipeg is being criticized after shutting out his own workers. His fifteen employees had been negotiating for a wage raise. The unionized workers were asking for a $0.30 increase to their hourly pay. Their boss, JP Shearer, thought that was too much.
His final offer was 10 cents less than what they had asked for, equivalent to an $11.95 per hour wage. The estimated living wage for a family living in Winnipeg is $14.54 an hour (That’s with two adults working full-time).
The disagreement over the ten cent raise led Shearer to lock out his workers and replace them.
This case is just one of many incidents involving Tim Hortons franchisees. Back in 2018, Tim Hortons franchise owners in Ontario eliminated paid breaks and some benefits when faced with minimum wage increases. Jeri-Lynn Horton-Joyce and her husband, heirs to a billion-dollar fortune were among them.
The hypocrisy of billionaires telling minimum wage workers that they are asking for too much did not go unnoticed by Canadians. Franchise owners were faced with protests and public outcry.
Cases like this one in Manitoba shed a light on the precarious conditions that low-wage workers face. What’s more, they lay bare the outrageous state of inequality that is present in this country.