Burger King Moving to Canada?

August 27th 2014

Alece Oxendine

It was announced this week that Burger King bought Tim Hortons, a cafe and bake shop, based in Canada for $11.4 billion dollars. In light of this, Burger King may very well move its headquarters to Canada. Company mergers and buyouts are common, but this buyout could mean larger implications on equal pay for workers and taxation for larger corporations:

  1. Will the minimum wage be increased across the US for Burger King workers? The average minimum wage in Canada is $10.33 ($9.43 in US dollars) while the US federal minimum wage is $7.25. Burger King should raise the minimum wage at US locations to the same amount as Tim Hortons to ensure equal pay. 
  2. It's common for many US companies that merge with foreign entities to move their headquarters abroad to evade U.S. taxes. However, what raises eyebrows about Burger King is that billionaire Warren Buffett's company Berkshire Hathaway will buy $3 billion dollars worth of shares in this new venture. Buffett has expressed his support of raising taxes on wealthy Americans to reduce income inequality. Even though his company will not have any involvement with operations, it may seem hypocritical to support a merger that tries to dodge taxes. But hey, at the end of the day he's a businessman, amirite?

Voicing his concern is former Secretary of Labor and current UC Berkeley professor Robert Reich, who points out the likely outcome is a double-hit to American taxpayers:

Secretary of Labor Robert Reich on Burger King, minimum wage workers, and corporate taxes

This story is developing and the most crucial outcome is TBD: is Burger King just one more in a growing trend of fleeing American companies? Or will this be a watershed moment in the conversation on equal pay and corporate tax dodgers?