Gas station attendants urged to speak up

42. spinmeright
You're making an assumption that every gas station attendant is crooked.
Why is that? Do you see employment at a gas station as less than? Crooked people act so. Good people act so.
All businesses selling merchandise expect loss… and are expected to have insurance, and clear and concise policies and procedures regarding theft and loss prevention.
Shell is just as responsible for this man's death as the waste of skin that ran him down.

Gas station attendants are vulnerable employees regardless of the shift they work. Making employees pay for stolen gas victimizes the employees twice for one crime, that was committed against them.

The Toronto Sun
September 20, 2012

Gas station attendants urged to speak up
Maryam Shah

Sid%20Ryan%20OFL.jpg

Ontario Federation of Labour president Sid Ryan. (QMI AGENCY files)

TORONTO - Following the death of a Toronto gas station worker, the Ontario Federation of Labour has set up a hotline urging gas station employees to tell their accounts of having to pay for stolen fuel.

“Anecdotally, we all know this kind of stuff is going on,” OFL spokesman Sid Ryan said Wednesday.

One caller was Deborah Pommer, 54, from Woodstock.

She recalled a gas-and-dash incident last month at the Canadian Tire Gas Plus station where she was a cashier. When she called her manager, he “really chastised me about the situation,” she said.

Two weeks later, she says she was given two choices: Pay $65 for stolen gas or leave.

Pommer says she pointed out that by law, he “cannot hold me accountable for anything.”

“He says what is your decision? I said I guess here’s your key, I’m leaving,” she said.

Currently unemployed, she filed a claim with the Ministry of Labour.

“As far as the employer was concerned … he said that any drive-offs I would be held accountable to pay because I am to be alert and pay attention to what I’m doing at all times,” Pommer said.

A regular patron of the Shell pump where Jayesh Prajapati, 44, was recently killed, Marsha Sands remembers speaking with him months ago about docked wages.

“You mean to say that the employee pays for what other people steal?” she recalled asking him. “He said ‘yeah.’ ”

When she heard he was killed, she says all she could think was “he got tired of people running off.”

Ryan says the OFL has called for a criminal investigation into Shell Canada and the franchise owner.

“What he sees is roughly a day and a half wages driving out of the gas station and that’s when he puts himself and his life in jeopardy,” he said. “And that’s where I believe Shell Canada shares some culpability in the death of this man.”

In a statement, Shell Canada said its procedures regarding drive-aways state: “Under no circumstances should site staff try to stop the vehicle from leaving the site!”

The statement further said: “Today we have reminded our operators that it is illegal to charge sales associates for drive-aways, and that there will continue to be ZERO tolerance for this in the Shell network.”

Comments

1. paulcerar
Yes, something must be done to address this outrageous treatment of gas station employees, but the woman-abusing thug Sid Ryan should not be the one involved.

2. bpiets
THE GAS AND OIL PEPOLE WON'T ALLOW THIS SINCE IT WOULD INTER'FEAR' WITH THEIR HIGH PROFITS AND THE GOV. WOULD THEN LOSE OUT ON THEIR OUT RAGEOUS PROFITS…LOL.

3. donald99
Syd Ryan wants to unionize gas station attendants so he can call a strike and really screw us up.

4. The Artful Dodger
Yeah, because it's so easy to confuse, "Calling for a criminal investigation into the franchise owner" with, "Let's unionize gas stations". Close enough for simple minds, right?

5. bungopony
Why else would Sid be doing this-outta the goodness of his heart?Oh,ten-four!
Incidentally,I wonder if he bothered to ask his membership if this is how they'd like THEIR money spent-no,I don't.
While we're deporting thugs,let's throw Sid off the same plane.He's at least as bad.

6. paulcerar
Forget about politics! Sid Ryan is a despicable man who assaults women! He is morally unfit to do anything, except leave Canada!

7. The Artful Dodger
It's laughable how people think the Employment Standards Act somehow protects employees. It doesn't, and never has. Employers constantly fail to operate within the law, and nothing ever happens. If an employee complains, they're let go (for any number of made up reasons). This is just another great example of the ESA completely failing to protect employees in Ontario.

8. paulcerar
Yes, I agree with you, but object to hypocrites! The opportunists who stepped in at this unforunate moment are like men who walk on graves!

Also, the Ontario Federation of Labour is led by Sid Ryan, a man with a record of assaulting women!

9. John Morgan
British Columbia put this law into effect years ago. I always prepay my gas and was surprised this was not the case in Ontario.

10. paulcerar
Yes, you are right. I am a pedestrian and I took it for granted that everyone paid beforehand.

11. Darlene Young
If your boss says give me money for something someone stole or get fired. Is that a crime? It seems like extortion.

12. Texascanuk
You are right but very few workers will not pay. They are caught in a catch 22. They need the work, If for some reason they do not pay up for the stolen gas and are let go, they probably will not get a reference and if another prospective employer calls that station, they could get a bad reference.

13. twoferone
Well then too bad, shut up and if you die, too bad. Right?

How about if they are extorted in this manner they CALL THE LABOR BOARD and report the crime? Get evidence of being extorted, hell everyone has a phone to point at a smoking ttc worker or a reading and driving mayor but don't have the intelligence to catch their employer breaking the law? By ignoring it, you are condoning it..and then it will happen over and over, until someone with balls finally does something.

CALL the Labor Board….Naw too easy..

14. paulcerar
You are both right. I am a pedestrian, and do not know the custom of gas stations, but I took it for granted that you pay beforehand. The very idea of a stranger driving in, taking gas, and THEN paying sounds ludicrous!

Also, I never owned a gas station but I have invested in other business. Employees claimed they were robbed in fact stole the money! This does not mean every employee should be considered a potential embezzeler, but it puts honest workers into a double-bind: you are damned if you do and you are damned if you don't!

15. twoferone
It is illegal..period.

16. leftartnot
just put a Sid Ryan mask on all attendants. that will scare everyone into paying!

17. paulcerar
Yes, unless they are the husbands/brothers/boyfriends of women who were assaulted by Sid Ryan, then the poor employee might get his head kicked in!

18. John Andreasen
1) The most popular place for criminals to steal your credit and debit card info is at the pump.
2) Have the Liberals EVER achieved ANY of their expected results on anything?
Every single time Dalton's flock tries to fix a problem it makes things worse at great expense and great inconvenience to everyone. Period. EVERY time.

19. carlie
Who do you think pays for dine and dash. It sure isn't the restaurant, it's the server. My daughter tackled a guy trying to stick her with a $78 tab. None of the service industry makes enough to pay for a thief's fun.

20. twoferone
It is illegal period and if your daughter doesn't report her employer she is condoning the practice. It is not her job to stop thieves. Her job is to make note of the creeps appearance and report it immediately..If she doesn't report her employer and something happens to her, well you can see where this is going…EVERY business has insurance and an accounting of what is called "bad debt" where they are allowed to write off unpaid tabs and such…YES even the restaurant business and ANY service industry. Don't be fooled. They have ways of getting that money back and they (the restaurant your daughter works at) might even be getting this money back TWICE!

21. The Third Man
Too bad that a legitimate concern by gas station attendants is now being manipulated by Sid Ryan for some publicity.

22. madmoterman
I think you'll find there will not be many calls, as I asked one attendant at a station if he would call, he has already been told that if the station has any type of investigation, they would all be laid off or the owner would just close the store, and he needs the job. But he did say he was responsible for a gas and dash. That's why most gas stations are pre-pay at night

23. paulcerar
Yes, they should be pre-pay 24/7!

24. BenjaminJGrimm
I just read that the douche bag that killed the attendant in Mississauga last year didn't show up for court and has a warrant out on him right now, looks like even when we catch them they get let back out.

25. ace58
If anyone sees pigs flying, it's because I agreed with Sid Ryan on this one. NEVER thought that would happen.

26. Darlene Young
Poor people can't afford to risk losing their jobs. "Urging" employees to blow the whistle on their bosses is really naive.

27. twoferone
Really? So your preference would be they continue to be abused by unscrupulous employers? Or risk their lives for a hundred bucks or less? Or ignore it and continue to be docked pay for a loss that is completely recoverable by other means and the company may possibly be doubling the recovery? Or what? Call to Unionize? But I though the Labor Laws protected employees and there was no longer a need for the band of thugs?

28. Suzette
There used to be a Beaver gas station (which I believe is owned by Shell) in my town, where many of my daughter's high school friends worked part time. It was common practice for them to deduct any loss revenue like this (as well as cash register shortages) from the wages of everyone on duty at the time, and most of the kids ended up quitting because of it.

29. paulcerar
I have heard such stories before. I wonder how many of the young employees were tricked, "befriended" or intimidated by bullies, into giving away the gas?

30. walkingbear
WRONG ISSUE AT A BAD TIME!! WHAT ABOUT THE GUY WHO WAS JUST SHOT TRYING TO STOP A THIEF FROM STEALING GAS AT THE SHELL STATION WHERE HE WORKED. SHELL WILL NOT CONTRIBUTE ONE RED CENT TOWARDS THAT FELLOW'S FUNERAL, HIS FAMILY, HIS LITTLE BOY AND WIFE, NOR THEIR KEEP NOW WITHOUT THE PROVIDER IN THE HOUSEHOLD. SHELL CANADA….SHAME ON YOU. I HAVE BEEN USING YOUR GAS FOR 45 YEARS. NOW AI WILL NEVER EVER ENTER ONE OF YOUR STATIONS AGQAIN.

31. walkingbear
WRONG ISSUE AT A BAD TIME!! WHAT ABOUT THE GUY WHO WAS JUST SHOT TRYING TO STOP A THIEF FROM STEALING GAS AT THE SHELL STATION WHERE HE WORKED. SHELL WILL NOT CONTRIBUTE ONE RED CENT TOWARDS THAT FELLOW'S FUNERAL, HIS FAMILY, HIS LITTLE BOY AND WIFE, NOR THEIR KEEP NOW WITHOUT THE PROVIDER IN THE HOUSEHOLD. SHELL CANADA….SHAME ON YOU. I HAVE BEEN USING YOUR GAS FOR 45 YEARS. NOW AI WILL NEVER EVER ENTER ONE OF YOUR STATIONS AGQAIN.

32. bpiets
SO THEY SPEAK UP AND THEN what happens ??>.LOL..SOME INSPECTORS AND OTHER GOV. ineffectuals will get to find blame elsewhere ??>.lol..sad…and maybe even get BONUSES for doing the work they were hired to do in the first place???..lol..sad…most folk don't know even the EXISTENCE of these GOV. DEPARTMENTS…LOL..NOT EVEN THOSE THAT GAVE THESE COMPANIES OWNERS ETC. A LICENCE TO SET UP AND RUN THESE BUISS'S…LOL..SAD…

33. Canada999
Why does this happen? I know that at big retailers such as clothing, they have lots of theft, but the employees do not have to pay out of pocket. Is it because the gas franchise owner is a small business owner, and he personally needs to keep up the profits?

34. carlie
Just like in restaurants, minimal staff means it's easy to know who was on duty when a theft occurs. Retailers generally have too many staff to nail down a person they can deem responsible.

35. twoferone
No that is not the reason. They do it because they can and your daughters situation is a perfect example of WHY they get away with it, because SHE hasn`t turned them in to the Labor Board.

36. twoferone
Because they can get away with it.

People are uneducated when it comes to their rights as employees and many fear saying anything because they don't want to lose their job. This has nothing to do with profits. Most if not all gas stations run a huge profit, not only on gas but on the other krap they sell. One must also realize that many of these franchisee's have two or three other stations and are NOT hurting at all….they do it because they can and obviously not enough people are speaking up.

37. ThinkB4Reaction
Well, a law would likely make it easier (public can be mad at gov instead of retailer) and more thorough to implement, but it escapes me why retailers don't just implement pay and pump. No more losses from stealing gas, and less risk to employees. Pay at the pump already works this way. The idea of collecting a service and then paying for it afterwards is contrary to most retail transactions anyways.

Oh, and definitely prosecute employers docking worker's pay illegally. We need to enfore the laws we do have, just maybe in this case the industry could solve the problem without any new law.

38. RationalIdeas
I worked in a gas station and we were never responsible for theft over cash registered shortages.

39. goodjobs
good for you Sid. to many workers are taken advantage of

40. mdxster03
The really sad part about this whole gas company bullying employee is it took a death of a human being for everybody to start paying attention to this. I mean it's not the first time that there is a gas theft people. Why wait until now? I really feel sorry for his family have to go through now. Money cannot replace a human being. The moral in our society is slipping fast in these days. Very sad and stupidity.

41. Nukejockey
Gas station operations are small business. As such the employment conditions are between the franchise holder and the employee. If the employee does not like the conditions he can quit.

Franchise holders are well aware if they do not have control over their employees that they will just look the other way as the employees 'friends drive away with their gas

42. spinmeright
You're making an assumption that every gas station attendant is crooked.
Why is that? Do you see employment at a gas station as less than? Crooked people act so. Good people act so.
All businesses selling merchandise expect loss… and are expected to have insurance, and clear and concise policies and procedures regarding theft and loss prevention.
Shell is just as responsible for this man's death as the waste of skin that ran him down.

Gas station attendants are vulnerable employees regardless of the shift they work. Making employees pay for stolen gas victimizes the employees twice for one crime, that was committed against them.

43. Lucas Walker
This is, in my experience, less that 'attendants are crooked and should pay' so much as if a station suffers a non-runumerated theft, they have to report it up the chain and this can result in political issues for the station owner/operator or other unwanted attention. By making associates pay for the theft and otherwise pinning it on them, the owner doesn't have to report the theft to the corporation, and nobody looks into his actions.

As a lot of gas station corporations have internal incentives for 'well performing' stations, there's definitely support to not report thefts (and make people who will think it's their fault and thus, not report it, pay for it).

Anyone who says "Attendants are all crooked" is an idiot with no real experience in the industry.

44. twoferone
All the more reason for an employee to turn in an employer who is extorting their employees in this manner. It is illegal and to suggest this is done in order to maintain a performance level with the parent company, it now becomes a Federal Crime and flirts on Conspiracy.

45. paulcerar
All three of you have made good comments and observations. I will not answer because I have already commented to similar statements in other posts!

46. Suzette
Hmmm… sounds like you're one of those franchise gas station owners. Obviously you think docking the wages of employees is the right thing to do. Obviously you're wrong.

47. Nukejockey
No, I do not own a gas station. Nor, do I have shares in Shell. Docking wages for fuel theft is not the right thing to do.
I do not see where it has been reported that this is the case.
This is sadly another incident in the reality of life.

48. Les Stewart
Shell Canada's response is extremely weak.

Please provide us with physical copies of the relevant clauses within their franchise agreement and operating manual where gas-and-cash is mentioned.

Please provide examples of counselling sessions with any Canadian franchisee that have violated these sections.

Please provide examples of franchisees who have been audited for these offenses, disciplined or terminated.

Franchising creates vulnerability because of the captured investments of the franchisee. Any of Canada's 76,000 franchisees remain as franchisees ONLY under the unilateral king-like powers of the franchisor.

Shell is waiting for a class action lawsuit (franchisees and their employees).

49. Jack Socialist
see….unions have every workers best interest in mind….regardless

these people care about workers and the little guy

50. ChuckyGotcha
Go for it Syd, get them all unionized and forking a big chunk of their meagre pay over to you.

I can hardly wait for your first walk out and you’ve got a dozen of my grand- kid’s teachers standing over a flaming strike barrel in support of the guys at the gas station

http://www.torontosun.com/2012/09/20/gas-station-attendants-urged-to-speak-up#disqus_thread


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