Unionized Quebec Tim Hortons workers unhappy with deal that cuts paid breaks


The union representing 80 workers at 4 Quebec Tim Hortons claims they’ve been dealt a blow after an imposed contract lower their paid espresso and lunch breaks, though their employer is abiding by the collective settlement and the province’s labour legal guidelines.

“It is not honest,” stated Nicholas Lapierre, regional co-ordinator with the United Steelworkers (USW). “We’re very, very dissatisfied about this example.”

The 4 Tim Hortons, all within the metropolis of Sept-Îles, are owned by one franchisee. For years, workers working a full-time shift at these places bought two paid espresso breaks plus a paid 30-minute lunch break, stated Lapierre.

However on account of a brand new collective settlement the espresso breaks are gone and there isn’t any pay for lunch, he stated.

“The workers are very indignant.”

The workers on the 4 Sept-Îles places unionized by becoming a member of the USW in 2015. Only a few Tim Hortons workers are represented by a union. 

The USW got down to negotiate a brand new contract, hoping to attain advantages for workers comparable to larger pay and extra rights for senior workers.

Nicolas Lapierre, regional co-ordinator for the United Steelworkers, says Sept-Îles Tim Hortons workers are being handled unfairly. (Marc-Antoine Mageau/Radio-Canada)

Negotiations stalled, main each events to enter into binding arbitration in April to achieve a collective settlement.

The union wasn’t blissful with the outcomes. Lapierre says workers — who make the minimal wage of $12 an hour — have been assured a five-cent increase for every year of service. In addition they bought no less than one additional paid trip day.

However the settlement eliminated their espresso breaks and their pay for lunch breaks, stated Lapierre.

Staff working two part-time shifts are additionally not allowed to eat on the premises until they order meals within the restaurant, he stated.

He calls it “union busting.”

All the pieces is by the guide

The final supervisor for the 4 Sept-Îles Tim Hortons stated that administration is abiding by each Quebec labour legal guidelines and the collective settlement determined by the arbitrator.

“We apply the conventions that are imposed on us,” stated Wayne Malouin in an interview in French.

He denied workers had their breaks lower, stating that they nonetheless get a half-hour break, as mandated by legislation.

Malouin stated that workers cannot eat their lunch on the premises between shifts for “security and insurance coverage” causes.

He additionally denied that workers have been being penalized for unionizing, and stated that relations between employees and administration is “excellent.”

United Steelworkers members gathered outdoors a Sept-Îles Tim Hortons. (USW)

Earlier this yr, Tim Hortons confronted criticism after workers at almost a dozen places throughout Ontario claimed that their franchise homeowners rolled again their advantages and low breaks to offset the prices of a minimal wage hike.

Throughout that time, the chain’s proprietor, multinational Restaurant Manufacturers Worldwide, declined to take sides, stating that particular person franchise homeowners are chargeable for all employment issues.

A Tim Hortons spokesperson reiterated that coverage in an e mail to CBC Information and, this time, expressed help for the franchisee. 

“Particular person franchise homeowners are chargeable for their very own employment insurance policies and negotiations,” Jane Almeida stated.

“We perceive this restaurant proprietor has been absolutely co-operative all through the collective bargaining course of.”

‘Everyone seems to be sure by it’

Employment and labour lawyer Jeremy Little would not touch upon the particulars of this case, however stated if workers misplaced their paid breaks as a part of a collective settlement, there’s nothing a lot they will do about it.

He stated in accordance with Quebec labour legal guidelines, employers aren’t obligated to offer espresso breaks or paid lunch breaks — until an worker is required to work throughout lunch.

“If there is a collective settlement, it has to conform with native labour legal guidelines in place, however there isn’t any obligation to transcend the collective settlement,” stated Little with OLS legislation agency in Montreal.

“Everyone seems to be sure by it, frankly, for higher or for worse.”

USW’s Lapierre agrees no legal guidelines have been damaged however says Sept-Îles workers will battle for a greater contract when the present one expires in 18 months.




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