Tim Hortons in crisis

Employees at an Ontario Tim Hortons owned by the children of the chain’s founders say they have been told to sign a document acknowledging they are losing paid breaks, paid benefits, and other incentives as a result of the province’s minimum wage hike.

Besides losing paid breaks, the document states workers with more than five years of service will have to pay 50 per cent of the cost of benefits, and employees with between six months and five years service will have to pay 75 per cent.

An employee with more than five years service told that prior to this, their benefits were covered 100 per cent by the company.

In addition to the demonstrations at nine separate Toronto locations planned throughout the day, rallies are expected in London, Guelph, Ottawa, Peterborough, Windsor, Dundas and Cobourg

Union Canada activists are out at Tim Hortons locations across Ontario protesting unfair benefit cuts by the company in response to the province’s recent minimum wage increase.

Demonstrators from various Ontario labour unions turned out to Tim Hortons locations in an effort to pressure franchises to reverse cuts to employee benefits implemented in response to the province’s minimum wage increase.

UFCW Canada activists joined with workers, unions, and community groups at several Tim Hortons locations across Ontario to call out the company’s benefit cuts and bullying of workers in response the province’s recent minimum wage increase. Read more

“We expect every business in Ontario to live up to the spirit of the law,” said Chris Buckley, president of the Ontario Federation of Labour, an umbrella group that represents some 54 unions.

The OFL organized the rallies in solidarity with Tim Hortons workers who have lost a host of benefits and perks this year, after minimum wage in the province increased to $14.

“That was a big benefit for the people who work at Tim Hortons, because it’s not a great paying job,” said the employee, who said they were making $13 an hour prior to the minimum wage hike.

“The benefits are what kept me there. Now you are going to make me pay that.

“I don’t understand why you can take it away. Sounds like you are penalizing your staff because the government is trying to help your staff,” they said.

Employees are also losing incentives for working on their birthday and for working six months without taking a sick day.

15-year-olds, and I feel they should be taking the letter home to their parents to read before they sign anything,” they said.

Another employee said that with unpaid breaks and having to pay 50 per cent of the cost of benefits, their biweekly paycheque will actually be $51 dollars lower than it was before the minimum wage hike.

“People are talking about boycotting their stores, and saying ‘I’ll go to another [Tim Hortons], but I won’t go to that one,'” said Pickersgill.

Public backlash to the move has been swift, with some would-be customers boycotting the iconic coffee shop on social media with actions like No Timmis tuesdays, in which some Tim Hortons regulars posted photos of purchases from the chain’s competition with messages of support for workers.

Almost all of Tim Horton restaurants in Canada are independently owned and operated by small business Owners who are responsible for handling all employment matters, including all policies for benefits and wages, for their restaurants.”

“Restaurant Owners are expected to comply with all applicable laws and regulations within their jurisdiction.”

Restaurant Brands International, the parent company of Tim Hortons, has said the decision to pass costs onto employees were made by “rogue” franchisees and does not reflect the “values” of the business. Individual franchises told CBC News that they’ve been forced to cut benefits because head office will not allow an increase in prices.

The Great White North Franchisee Association, which represents half of Canadian Tim Hortons franchisees, said the minimum wage hike and other changes to the province’s labour laws will cost the average franchisee $243,889 a year

The association said it hoped RBI would lower supply costs or raise prices. When it did not, the association said, many franchisees were “left no alternative but to implement cost saving measures in order to survive.”

Buckley said that he’s personally reached out to RBI chief executive Daniel Schwartz to “give him an opportunity to correct this situation.

After days of public and government outrage stemming from policies introduced by Ron Joyce Jr. and Jeri Horton-Joyce, the children of the company’s billionaire co-founders, at their two Coburg, Ont., locations, the coffee chain’s Canadian headquarters called the franchisees’ actions “reckless” and “completely unacceptable.”

A statement from Tim Hortons released on Friday said the cuts “do not reflect the values of our brand, the views of our company or the views of the overwhelming majority of our dedicated and hardworking Restaurant Owners” and that staff “should never be used to further an agenda or be treated as just an ‘expense.”


Just eat real food


It’s the 21st century and “junk food” has gone global. For better or for worse (mostly worse), junk food is now available all over the world. We see it most everywhere we go — in grocery and convenience stores, fast-food restaurants, on television — usually looking very appealing. But just what are the facts about junk food?

In book, Encyclopedia of Junk Food and Fast Food, Andre F. Smith defines junk food as, “those commercial products, including candy, bakery goods, ice cream, salty snacks, and soft drinks, which have little or no nutritional value but do have plenty of calories, salt, and fats. While not all fast foods are junk foods, most are. Fast foods are ready-to-eat foods served promptly after ordering.”


breakfast cereals – They seem innocent enough, but some of them could definitely be considered “junk food,” as they mostly contain sugar and white flour.

Other examples of junk food.

Popular snack foods are usually commercially prepared and packaged, like chips, cheese puffs, candy bars, snack cakes, and cookies.

One problem with junk foods is that they’re low in satiation value — that is, people don’t tend to feel as full when they eat them — which can lead to overeating.

Another problem is that junk food tends to replace other, more nutritious foods.

When people drink lots of soda, for example, they are usually not getting plenty of low-fat dairy or other healthful beverages like green tea or orange juice.

When they’re snacking on chips and cookies, they’re usually not loading up on fruits and vegetables.

The dark side of junk foods is not an unknown fact. Several research studies have shown that fast foods and processed foods have increased childhood obesity, heart disease and diabetes and other chronic diseases.

It can cause memory and learning problems
A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2011 showed that healthy people who ate junk food for only 5 days performed poorly on cognitive tests that measured attention, speed, and mood. It concluded that eating junk food for just five days regularly can deteriorate your memory.

junk food is high in ingredients like sugar and salt and research suggests that a diet high in junk food might harm the kidneys in a similar way to type-2 diabetes.

Lessens its ability to control appetite
Excess consumption of trans fats found in fried and processed foods can send mixed signals to the brain which makes it difficult to process what you have eaten and how hungry are. This is probably why you end up overeating.
In worst scenarios, the habit of overeating can be similar to drug addiction to an extent that relying on junk foods may activate the pleasure centres of the brain greater than receiving drugs.

It can cause chemical changes that can lead to depression and other mental problems
A study conducted at the University of Montreal have shown that eating foods high in sugar and fat actually changes the chemical activity of the brain making it more dependent on such foods.

It makes you impatient and can cause uncontrollable cravings
Fast food If your sugar levels dip to a very low level, it can cause anxiety, confusion and fatigue.  With high content of sugar and fats, you tend to eat too fast and too much to satisfy your cravings. This can inculcate an impatient behavior while dealing with other things.

Accordingly MD Web Elaine Magee, for the WebMD

How toTake the ‘Junk’ out of Junk Food

Now that you’ve got the facts about junk food, how can you try to eat more healthfully in our junk- food-filled world? Here a tips:

  • Choose healthier choices. And no matter where you are, opt for food and beverages that are made up mostly of ingredients that offer nutrients along with calories.
  • Enjoy freshly squeezed juice or a whole-wheat bagel instead of soda or donuts. Buy pizza topped with vegetables, or a grilled chicken sandwich on a whole-grain bun instead of tortilla chips with processed cheese sauce; or fried chicken pieces and French fries. Avoid sweetened beverages.
  • Look for products low in sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, milled grains, and partially hydrogenated oils. Choose a 100% whole-wheat cracker made with canola oil, for example, or snack on a cheese and fruit plate instead of a bowl of cheese puffs.
  • Just eat real food