The leader of Canada’s most populous province has lashed out at prominent business owners who clawed back employee benefits and paid breaks in order to offset the costs of a minimum wage increase, describing the move as the “act of a bully”.
Kathleen Wynne, the premier of Ontario, announced last year that the province would raise its minimum wage to C$15 ($12) an hour by 2019. The first phase went into effect this week, hiking the minimum wage for workers from C$11.40 an hour to C$14.00.
Days into the wage hike, it emerged that employees at two locations of Tim Hortons – Canada’s emblematic coffee chain that claims to pour eight of every 10 cups of coffee sold in the country – would no longer be paid for breaks and would have to cover at least half the costs of their health and dental benefits.
The owners of the two stores, Ron Joyce Jr and his wife, Jeri Horton-Joyce – who are the son and daughter of the chain’s co-founders – said in a letter to employees that the changes were due to the increased minimum wage.
Labour compensation is labour compensation, labour wages are labour wages. When a politician, by fiat, changes labour wages we might well expect to see a change in non-wage labour costs in order to keep labour compensation around and about static.
You know? Canute and the tide, prices in a market economy?