Tim Hortons confirms 350 layoffs as workers say they were blindsided
Shortly after announcing its massive layoffs, a spokesperson with Tim Hortons says the coffee chain cut 350 people, mainly at its headquarters and regional offices.
Earlier this week, the company declined to specify how many workers were being let go but said it would begin to implement changes aimed at boosting profits.
“There are very difficult and necessary choices,” says company spokeswoman, Alexandra Cygal.
A laid-off Tim Hortons manager said to CBC News that workers were blindsided with the layoffs.
She states that days before pink slips were handed out to staff, the company dismissed media claims about possible layoffs and reassured employees not to worry.
So when Tim Hortons dropped the axe, she says, “it was really shocking.”
“We all anticipated something happening. I don’t think any of us assumed it was going to happen so fast. There was just no transition time and it was pretty much, these guys came in, your job is gone.”
The company recently merged with Burger King under Restaurant Brands International. They say all of the affected employees have been notified and that the layoffs fell within commitments made to Industry Canada.
Prior to the $12.5 billion merger of the two companies, the federal government insisted the layoffs not exceed 20% of employees at the company headquarters. The company was also required to maintain staff levels at its franchised restaurants for five years but employees at the offices were not protected under that agreement.
The company has a total of 2,300 employees at its headquarters, regional offices and distribution centres across Canada. The company has said they plan to keep its headquarters in Oakville.
Earlier this week, the conservative government was slammed by NDP’s during Question Period for allowing the layoffs, saying the were indicative of failed economic policy.
Other analysis’s, experts and franchisees have voiced their concerns over the reputation of 3G Capital, an investment firm that owns around 70% of the now merged company. Critics say that Brazilian owned 3G is known for stripping certain assets as an attempt to boost profits, citing past layoffs at companies.