Walmart’s has been tarnished for years by stories of its underpaid employees struggling to survive, being forced to turn to food banks to feed their families. It’s a reputation the company is desperate to change. As one retail consultant noted, “Amazon has been viewed as a good citizen. Walmart has been viewed as a bad citizen who is getting better.”

If only Tim Hortons and its misguided Ontario franchisees had taken some advice on reputation management from Walmart.

Instead, the franchisees, who have been waging war for months with the parent company, have turned their anger over the Jan. 1 increase in the Ontario minimum wage into a frontal attack on their own workers and the communities in which they operate.