FERNIE, BC, Dec. 9, 2013 /CNW/ - Unions in the Elk Valley say they
always have time for Tim Hortons workers - when they are fighting for
fairness in their workplaces in Fernie and Blairmore after allegations
Tim Hortons workers who are in Canada from the Philippines on temporary
work permits allege that local Tim Hortons restaurant owners have
exploited them by requiring repayment of a portion of legal overtime,
even driving employees to the bank and waiting while they cashed
cheques to get back the money.
The workers have filed Employment Standards Act complaints with the
assistance of United Steelworkers Local 9346, International Union of
Operating Engineers Local 115 and other unions. These unions are
joining with the BC Federation of Labour in calling for an RCMP
investigation as well.
Former Tim Hortons workers Heidi Kibanoff and Richard Pepito alleged
owner Pierre Pelletier required them to pay back a portion of their
overtime pay to him - in cash - even driving employees to the bank and
waiting while they cashed their paycheques.
"Local union members are behind these Tim Hortons workers 100%. We want
to help any exploited workers escape abuses," says Brian Lefebvre from
IUOE Local 115. "Until a full and robust series of investigations
settle this matter, the labour movement in the Elk Valley will provide
legal and moral support for workers stepping forward in these uncertain
Alex Hanson from Steelworkers Local 9346 said the union was approached
10 days ago by Vancouver-Kensington MLA Mabel Elmore to investigate
claims made by current and former workers at the Fernie Tim Hortons
"What I found were some very upset workers who had felt taken advantage
of by their employer," Hanson said. "The evidence I've seen seems to
back up their claims. What we really need now is a full RCMP
investigation into these allegations."
"We're asking for local businesses in the East Kootenays to step up and
help us find alternative employment for any affected workers," Hanson
said. "This is simply a case of workers in our community stepping up to
help other workers in need."
SOURCE: United Steelworkers (USW)
For further information:
Brian Lefebvre, IUOE Local 115, (250) 919-1096
Alex Hanson, Steelworkers Local 9346, (250) 425-4147
Bill Tieleman, West Star Communications, (778) 896-0964 (c), 604-844-7827 (o).