Update: Jan 12:
CBC: Tim Hortons says the latest price hikes have nothing to do with the dispute with franchise owners.
YYC: Timmy's: how you do talk! GWNFA: Don't see price hikes as price hikes; see them simply as "adjustments" to the menu board.
Help, I can't stop laffing ... sardonically. Great Newspeak, eh? What year is this again?
Protest against Tim Hortons reaction to new minimum wage planned across Ontario
I wonder if the people who have such loyalty to Tim Hortons are aware it no longer has anything remotely to do with the hockey guy whose name it bears. It's just a catch-phrase for hundreds of individually-owned franchises around the world, purchased from a massive conglomerate with some extremely wealthy former heads of other extremely massive enterprises heading up its Board of Directors.
Tim Hortons, Burger King, and Popeyes
Notice, there's no apostrophe indicating that the outlets are Tim Horton's (as they once were); there's just an "s" indicating that there are multiples of them in multiple countries. There's nothing Canadian about it. Nor are any bones made about what's required to be a small cog in something this huge:
BIG is where it's at. Not necessarily "better". Nostalgia and convenience are just rungs on the ladder to somebody else's BIG.
Franchise employees are expected to cheerfully support someone else's dream of BIG. And that goes for the customer as well, as demonstrated by the fact that should you want to take RBI up on its offer to "share your feedback", be informed that the page you land on will say: "Not Found"
Protests aren't generally effective in these days of BIG because the actual string-pullers are far too far removed from the general public. As demonstrated above, the average Joes and Josies who drink Timmy's brew, and have concerns regarding the rights of Timmy's employees, cannot access the top because the ladder has been pulled in.
They can try to contact Timmy's "customer relations" staff, but here's the thing about that, eh? -- only about half, or so, of the Timmy's outlets are sympatico with RBI these days. The other half, or so, have joined together to form a kind of union called the GWNFA:
Here's what the GWNFA says about the local cut-backs due to the minimum wage increase:
See? Everbody's a victim.
So with whom do we sympathize - the hopeful individuals who bought Timmy's franchises with the dream of building something for themselves and their families while offering employment to others who need it? Or the employees who deserve a decent minimum wage without having to pay for it in loss of various perks?
See, that's how the really big guys get to mess with just about everybody else's brains.
Here's a kicker: the cloying Tim Horton nostalgia that keeps people coming back (because, hey, it's Canadian, eh, and we love hockey, eh, and we still love Timmy, rest his soul, eh?) - not to mention, "what the heck, it's close to where I work" - means that the protests are not likely to have any effect.
Why? Because the protesters need their Timmy's, they love what they think it stands for, and when they get tired of waving their signs, they'll take a coffee break and be served by an employee whose breaks have been curtailed. In other words, caught in a dilemma between protesting the big guys and trying not to put the little guys out of work -- which still amounts to aiding and abetting an organization that has always, and likely will always, exploit people who need jobs.
Hey, even the police and other trusted "authorities" loved Tim Horton - so much so that they covered up for him when he stupidly caused his own death in a car crash in 1974. It took over 30 years before the information was released that Horton had been fueled by alcohol and drugs as he sped towards Buffalo.
See, we think we know what's going on in our world, but we know only what we're told by the "authorities", and the corporate media. It's quite probable that family influence was brought to bear upon them, not just out of love and respect for Timmy himself, but so that the company's profits would not be adversely affected by bad press.
In fact, after his death, Tim's heirs wanted cash, not shares, and there was one person only who was willing to purchase the whole corporate shebang, and he was not a Horton, merely married to one. She was made a joint owner, therefore it could honestly be said that it's Timmy's own blood doing this number on the current employees.
His family members are all worth millions from having exploited the minimum wage. But "worth" is a subjective term. They always could have paid their employees better, but they didn't do any more than they absolutely had to - nor do they now.
Timmy's grew out of nostalgia for a fantasy, and on the backs of employees who have always worked hard, for long hours, and for minimum wages. Yet nobody has ever before protested on their behalf. And I suspect the only reason they are inspired to do so at this moment in time is because the media have been working against re-election of Ontario's Premier (on or before June 7/18). (The Star comes right out and says that Wynn is "a drag on her party".)
So where does a Timmy's employee get a fair shake? To whom should the protesters on their behalf direct their case? Your guess is as good as mine. Some people say the government, both provincial and federal, because apparently: Paid coffee breaks or tax-free snacks are not a human right ...
The only real solution to the problem lies with the employees themselves. They all, en masse, must refuse to work. And they'd have to count on all persons seeking employment to avoid Tim Hortons.
Not going to happen.
Even with the perks removed, aren't the workers still ahead of the game with the minimum wage increase? Will they take the money and put up with the lack of perks which, anyway, are not at all magnanimous? After all, they don't plan to be a Timmy's employee forever. New people coming in will eventually not know the difference, because when you need a job you don't ask about the perks, you ask about wages.
My prediction: The public protests will peter out, the GWNFA's lawsuit will be settled to the benefit of the franchisees - not the employees - and, all told, the workers will find a few cents more in their pay cheques.
Personally, I've never been a fan of Tim Hortons, particularly since Afghanistan was barely stormed into, on the false premise of searching for Bin Laden, when a Tim Hortons franchise opened up there for the comfort of the invaders. I'll meet with other people at Timmy's if that's where they want to be, but it's never been my first choice for coffee -- and donuts are bad for you.
Well, I might like that donut place Mary Walsh frequents: (YouTube)
Photo: 570 News
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