Volume 94, Issue 24

Thursday, October 12, 2000


BOG candidates face USC grilling

Braun says USC vision needs focus

Tim Hortons still on strike

Tories want tougher laws on polluters

Petrykowski gunning for BOG

Uukkvi looks to the future

Planet Me

Tim Hortons still on strike

By Matt Pearson & Aaron Wherry
Gazette Staff

Two local Tim Hortons will not be serving up chocolate dip donuts anytime soon, as a six month strike lingers.

Since May 2, the staff of two London Tim Hortons establishments have been on strike. "We walked out at midnight on May 2," said Vicki Stevenson, a hostess at the Tim Hortons located near the intersection of Oxford and Talbot Streets.

The group's original purpose for striking has changed since then, Stevenson said. "We're asking for guaranteed hours and job clarification. It's not about money anymore."

Stevenson said the workers, who belong to the Canadian Auto Workers union Local 448, are currently receiving minimum payment from the union. "Part timers and full timers get the same pay, but we have to show up to get paid."

Stevenson explained the union was offered a deal on July 11, but turned it down due to lack of proper working hour guarantees.

Samantha Sims, who also works as a hostess, stated their Tim Hortons franchise was the only unionized franchise in Canada. "We became unionized six years ago," she said, adding the union went on strike once before in 1998.

Both Sims and Stevenson agreed they were concerned about rumours owner Rhonda Sondrol will close the operation completely. "They can close it, but we're confident they won't. We want to go back to work," Sims said.

Vanessa Black, a hostess at Tim Hortons, said she felt the strike was a matter of principle. "We want to stand up for all fast-food workers. We want them to know they can stand up for themselves."

Julie White, president of CAW local 27, said the union is currently boycotting all Tim Hortons franchises across the country. She said frustration has come due to the lack of change in the company's bargaining position. "There just doesn't seem to be any desire on the part of the company to negotiate."

Speaking on behalf of Sondrol, Patty Jamison, corporate communications director for Tim Hortons Canada, said the company would like nothing more than to have the situation resolved, but Tim Hortons felt they could not guarantee hours to employees given the nature of the food services industry.

Since July 11, no talks have taken place and the owner has had to seek other forms of income, she added.

"She and her husband have had to find employment elsewhere to tide themselves over in this difficult time," Jamison said. No new talks have been planned between the two parties, Jamison added

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