Sunday, January 14, 2018

Double Double, Toil And Trouble: Star Readers On Tim Hortons And The Minimum Wage Hike

As always, the letters from Star readers do not disappoint:
I am really finding it difficult to empathize with businesses like Tim Hortons crying over the minimum-wage increase. The fact that these businesses are paying minimum wage in the first place demonstrates a corporate greed that supersedes any dignity and respect for their employees that serve the coffee and make the sandwiches that generate billions in earnings. Tim Hortons is no longer Canadian and I feel we shouldn’t be as loyal to a brand that does not project Canadian values. Were businesses expecting the minimum wage to stay the same forever?

Brad Globe, Whitby

I would gladly pay more for my coffee and doughnut to make possible the continued care of Tim Hortons’ fine staff – as they have cared for me and my family and friends for so many years and in so many places.

I don’t want to leave Tim’s comfort and kindness for some cold and trendy café staffed by constantly changing temps. Tim’s is one of my homes, where I always feel welcome and safe.

Please find a way to reward these wonderful workers for their dedication and loyal service, and you can count on my continued and loyal patronage.

Susan McMaster, Ottawa

Pick a fight with me Mr. Joyce, not workers; and Small business owners are not the bullies here, Opinion, Jan. 7

We strongly disagree with Dan Kelly, president of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, when he suggests the minimum-wage hike is about “election optics.”

Small businesses are the backbone of Ontario’s economy and therefore a powerful political base. Thus, if Premier Kathleen Wynne is indeed “shaming” small businesses, she is actually risking political suicide. We applaud her for courageously putting the quality of life of everyday Ontarians above the Liberals’ political gains.

As small business owners for 34 years, we have always paid our employees well above minimum wage. In profitable years, we have rewarded them with year-end bonuses. As Wynne aptly argues, “it’s the right thing to do.” Profiting from those who struggle to make ends meet is not good business, it is abuse.

For those small-business owners who truly cannot afford to pay a living wage, you have our sympathy. It takes courage to accept the risks inherent with starting a business. However, if your success depends on the failure of your employees to make ends meet, then you cannot be truly successful.

For those small-business owners who are financially able to but refuse to pay their employees a living wage, shame on you.

Mr. Kelly, as “courageous” business owners, we would indeed love to tell the premier what her $15 minimum-wage plan means for our future and the future of our employees: business as usual.

Gerald and Shelley Grieve, Gerald Grieve Landscape Group


  1. I think the blame should fall more on Tim’s corporate than the franchises. I was wondering why McDonald’s wasn’t having a similar issue. However, apparently McD’s franchisees can set their own prices while Tim’s head office controls the prices their shops can charge. Totally screwed-up if they somehow didn’t see this coming. That’s what happens when you’re owned by a hedge fund.

    1. Your point is well-taken, UU4077. In fact, two pieces in today's Star address the issue you raise: