Edxon González Chein, Eric Dessens, Rodolfo Durán Lara, and Rubén Omar Varela Ramírez say Tony Van Den Bosch charged them double rent, called them “Mexican idiots”, said he owned their lives and regularly asked for their passports.
Tim Hortons has denied the claims and has applied to dismiss their case without a hearing as the company is neither the workers’ employer nor landlord. However, in their human rights complaint, it’s alleged that Tim Hortons played a part in the discrimination by getting its franchises to use the Temporary Foreign Worker Program.
The men came to work at the two Tim Hortons locations in Dawson Creek in January and March 2012. They say they were forced to live two to a room in a five-bedroom house owned by Van Den Bosch and were asked to pay $200 each at the beginning of the month and an additional $200 rent mid-month. Van Den Bosch also allegedly threatened to send them back to Mexico when they complained about their working and living conditions at his home.
The franchises are no longer under his ownership.