Boycotting stores – who does it help?

I have been working at Tim Horton’s, an iconic Canadian coffee shop, for the past three months.  I love it there – the people I work with are so much fun and while there are off days when one or most of us are grumpy, I wake up every day excited to go to work.

 

At the beginning of this year, the province I live in, Ontario, increased the minimum wage from $11.60 an hour to $14 an hour.  Because of that, some of the franchise owners have made some newsworthy decisions, such as taking away the paid breaks that were provided before and no longer paying for benefits.  To make this clear, the franchise owners I was hired by DID NOT DO THIS!!  However, we are seeing the brunt of these other franchise owners.  People have been talking about (and actually doing this) boycotting Tim Horton’s in general.  We have many people in the store and going through the drive-thru telling us that they will no longer be coming here in protest of what the owners are doing.  I patiently explain that the store I work in is NOT affected by this.   Some people still insist in not coming anymore (yet they are in the drive-thru or in the store, buying a coffee… go figure.

 

I have explained my thoughts on this to many people – boycotting stores are NOT going to help the employees.  By boycotting any business because of unfair treatment of their staff, you are hurting the very people who you claim you are helping.  By boycotting Tim Horton’s, since this is the store I am talking about, sales will go down.  When sales go down, fewer employees are needed to work because of the lack of business.   So less employees means more savings for the company and the employees have LESS WAGES to live on.

 

I know not everyone agrees with my thinking, however, it makes sense.  Fewer customers, less sales, fewer people needed to work.  It is that simple.  So rather than boycotting the company you are angry at, write letters to the head office.  Complain to the head office.  It is NOT the employees who need to be hearing this – we cannot do anything about what the head office or franchise owners are doing.

 

And if you are inclined to continue patronizing Tim Horton’s (and I thank all those who are!), be understanding to the staff.  We are occasionally understaffed and we try our best to give you the fastest service possible.

 

I always treat the customers with a smile and a thank you – I would like to be treated the same way back.  I think that is just general common courtesy –  and how all people should treat each other!

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