VANCOUVER — The legal battle between a group of Tim Hortons franchisees and their parent company escalated as the corporate-unsanctioned franchisee association filed a lawsuit alleging Restaurant Brands International, its subsidiary and several executives of subverting their right to associate.
A lawsuit filed on behalf of two franchisees who belong to The Great White North Franchisee Association claims the defendants sought “to interfere with, restrict, penalize, or threaten franchisees from exercising their rights to associate.”
The statement of claim alleges this happened in a number of ways, including commencing legal action late last month against a group of GWNFA board members that RBI alleges provided confidential information that was then leaked to a Canadian newspaper. The GWNFA denies this claim.
It alleges the defendants denied future store opportunities to franchisees because they are “not aligned” with Tim Hortons’s interest and set aside a $2 billion fund to buy out franchisees who have joined the GWNFA or may do so in the future.
None of the claims have been proven in court. Neither RBI nor Tim Hortons immediately responded to a request for comment.
Franchisees formed the GWNFA, which incorporated in March, to raise franchisee concerns over the management of the brand.
The Canadian Press
(Canadian Press DataFile)
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