The premier of Ontario has accused Tim Hortons’ billionaire heirs of bullying their employees by reducing their benefits in response to Ontario’s increased minimum wage.
In a letter dated December 2017, Ron Joyce Jr., son of company co-founder Ron Joyce, and his wife, Jeri Horton-Joyce, who is Tim Hortons’ daughter, told employees at two Tim Hortons restaurants they own in Cobourg, Ontario, that as of January 1, they would no longer be entitled to paid breaks, and would have to pay at least half of the cost of their dental and health benefits.
The couple said the measures were aimed at helping the company offset the $2.40 hike in the hourly minimum wage.
Any society that regards itself as civilized should surely allow its lowest paid citizens at least a modicum of hope and dignity. Critics believe that those earning minimum wage somehow deserve to go without, need to pay a price for some imagined sin of failure or lack of ambition.
Last year the top 10 CEO’s of Canadian public companies made an average of $10.4 million. The average working Canadian earned 49,738 dollars. That equates to the following. On January 1st, 2018 the top paid Canadians CEO’s made by 11 am what the average Canadian worker will take one year to earn.
Globally the situation is more perverse. The Economic Policy Institute shows that CEO compensation at the largest corporations has ballooned by 937 percent since 1978, when adjusted for inflation. A typical worker’s compensation grew a measly 10.2 percent over the same period.
The owners of that Ontario Tim Horton’s have yet to comment on the criticism as they are enjoying their lavish Florida vacation home paid for on the backs of students, hard-working Canadians and seniors just trying to carve out a life worth living. These people do not deserve to be marginalized. They deserve our compassion and a path out of their situation.
And today they will continue to smile and thank the customers as their benefits go down the drain while the owners will suntan in Florida. Let them eat cake, er, ah donuts indeed.