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Local groups protest Tim Hortons merger

A coalition of local labor unions and activists is crying foul over the merger that would combine the corporate efforts of Tim Hortons and Burger King. A demonstration was held Monday at a Burger King on Seneca Street.

Analysts say the merger of the two fast food restaurant chains could save millions, provided the new headquarters are located in Canada. Such a move would allow the new company to avoid paying millions in U.S. corporate taxes.

The Coalition for Economic Justice is crying foul over the move, asserting that combining the two companies would create "one of the world's largest poverty-wage employers."

“Burger King’s plan to move its corporate headquarters to Canada shows how far the 1% will go to dodge paying taxes,” said Richard Lipsitz Jr, President of the WNY Area Labor Federation. “Burger King and other wealthy corporations continue to leave regular, hardworking Americans with a whopper of a tax bill when they avoid paying their fair share in taxes.”

The activists called on Burger King executives to remain in the US and to pay their workers a liveable wage.

“Burger King is already a food fast giant when it comes to poverty wages,” said Derek Seidman, co-chair of the Coalition for Economic Justice’s Worker Justice Committee.  “Many of their employees must rely on social safety net programs like food stamps just to be able to survive on the poverty wages the company pays.

"This is another reminder for our elected officials in Albany to raise the minimum wage in New York and pass Local Wage Authorization to make sure companies pay employees wages they can live on."