Labour leaders hold rally at Windsor Tim Hortons in support of workers

You may notice a crowd outside your favourite Tim Hortons in Windsor today, or in several other Ontario cities. The Ontario Federation of Labour has organized rallies in support of the workers at a number of stores across southern Ontario. They include the Tims at the corner of Goyeau St and Park St E in downtown Windsor.

Rally began at 10:00 a.m. at the Goyeau St and Park St E location

Members of the Windsor District Labour Council rally outside of a downtown Windsor Tim Hortons on Wednesday Jan. 10, 2018. (Meg Roberts/CBC)

A crowd gathered in front of a Windsor Tim Hortons today to protest some franchise owners' response to the new $14 minimum wage.

The Ontario Federation of Labour, which represents some 54 unions across the province, organized rallies in 15 cities and towns in Ontario. They included the Tim Hortons at the corner of Goyeau St and Park St E in downtown Windsor, where a group of about 20 people gathered at 10 a.m. Wednesday morning.

The OFL is protesting the actions by some Tim Hortons franchise owners to cut paid breaks and benefits, citing the increased minimum wage.

"It's a message to say, 'Play nice. This is what the law says,'" said Brian Hogan, president of the Windsor and District Labour Council. "This is one small way to try to help people perhaps not have three jobs, perhaps to get an apartment, perhaps to get off the food banks."

Hogan said the gathering today is not a boycott, but an information session.

"We're going to reach out with all the workers, too. This is an opportunity to perhaps maybe, maybe not organize in terms being unionized but certainly to reach out...if you don't know what your rights are, we can give you advice."

Windsor West MPP Lisa Gretzky attended today's rally.

"People are missing the point that these companies have received a tax cut to start with and they're saying they can't keep their front line employees because of the minimum wage hike," she said.

Gretzky is referring to small business tax cuts announced in the November 2017 Ontario budget that would help business owners offset the minimum wage hike.