(Country Style, Twitter)

Wallaceburg’s Country Style coffee shop is blaming decisions made by the provincial government, who raised minimum wage by 21% on January 1, for changes they’ve made this week, which included reduced hours and staff cuts.

In a letter written to their customers, Kelly and Kevin Johnston, the franchise owners, explained the situation.

“Due to the decisions made by Kathleen (Wynne) and the Liberal government, we at Country Style have been forced to make changes,” the Johnston’s wrote.

Effective immediately, their new store hours will be:

– Mondays to Saturdays 5 a.m. to 9 p.m., with the lobby closing at 8 p.m.

– Sundays 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. with the lobby closing at 8 p.m.

– All Statutory Holidays, they will be closed

Their previous hours were 5 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week.

“Although customer service has always been our priority at Country Style, we ask for your patience and understanding as we have also been forced to cut back on staff,” the Johnston’s said.

“We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may cause to our valued customers. These changes are important moving forward in order for us to remain a viable business here in Wallaceburg.”

Kelly Johnston said on Facebook they were hoping to “clear up the rumours” about the Wallaceburg store closing.

Starting on January 1, minimum wage in Ontario rose to $14 an hour, up from $11.60 an hour.

Government officials say the change will help workers and their families who are struggling to get ahead in a changing economy.

As part of Ontario’s Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act, 2017, the minimum wage will increase again to $15 an hour on January 1, 2019, to be followed by annual increases at the rate of inflation.

“Our plan for fair workplaces and better jobs provides a minimum wage people can actually live on and modernizes our labour laws to adapt to an ever-changing economy,” stated Kevin Flynn, Minister of Labour, in a press release.

“Too many families struggle to get by on part-time or temporary work. Those working full-time can be living in poverty. This is unacceptable in Ontario. Our plan will help ensure everyone who works hard has the chance to reach their full potential and share in Ontario’s prosperity.”

Meanwhile, Country Style’s competitor Tim Horton’s is facing backlash after some of their franchises in Ontario decided to cut employee benefits in response to the minimum wage increase.

Watch for more on this issue.

3 Responses to “ Minimum wage hike to blame for Country Style changes ”

  1. gravatar Synthia Trembley
    January 8th, 2018

    Well it appears many Employees will not have the luxury of enjoying tbis minimum wage increase anyway .As many Employers will make drastic changes to ensure this increase does not hurt their business. Too bad it will be a no win from Wynne in the long run for many. Loss of job security and less hours will not help those living below the poverty line as they are heading for the unemployment line. Its too bad as they certainly deserve to make more money but when big companies and franchises prepare to make these changes within how on earth does anyone expect smaller independent businesses to even survive. Other than increase in prices towards the consumer, I just don’t have the answer for this Note : I work for minimum wage. Synthia

  2. gravatar Gord
    January 8th, 2018

    What a crock.

  3. gravatar Johanne Leach
    January 8th, 2018

    too bad that businesses that are independently owned, are the one that cut down on their staff, It should be more like big chain stores that should do that. and let the small businesses survive, and cater so hard to their costumers like they were their family.Don’t give up Kelly/Kevin!