Former Woolworths worker claims unfair dismissal after alleged armed hold-up

by HCA17 Feb 2017
Tapan Mistry has taken Woolworths to the Fair Work Commission after he allegedly did not comply with a robber’s request for money and cigarettes.

Mistry claims he was unfairly dismissed after the incident which took place at a store in Beckenham, WA.

HC contacted Woolworths for comment and spokesperson said there is not much they can say at this stage.

“We would not comment on an ongoing matter currently before the Commission,” said the spokesperson.

Woolworths are claiming that because Mistry did not agree to the robber’s requests he was jeopardizing the safety of himself and others.

“It was alleged that on 7 October 2016 during a serious incident in store you failed to act in accordance with the Armed Holdup procedure when an offender entered the store and demanded money and cigarettes,” said his termination, according to SBS.

The company also allege the employee had failed to follow food safety procedures.  

Mistry said his termination is unfair and claims the company is using the incident to remove him due to an ongoing dispute over his annual leave.

Moreover, he claimed that the incident was not an armed hold-up because the perpetrator was not armed and did not threaten him.

Tapan said the offender came to him at the cash register with some items and demanded money from him.

“I scanned the items which came to $8.65. I told the customer the price and waited for the payment," he was quoted as saying by SBS.

“He just waited there without saying or doing anything. A few seconds later he said ‘Give me the money.”

Tapan said he believed the man might have been asking for change and accidently forgot to pay for the items.

It was only when the perpetrator jumped over counter that he knew the situation was not what he thought it was.

Tapan added that Woolworths should define their policy more clearly.

“If you start complying with anyone’s demands for money.. someone isn't armed, doesn’t threaten you, there's no forced entry.. it can be any customer who forgets to pay and asks for change or asks for money, you will have such incidents five times a day,” he said.

“I lost my job which has placed me under severe financial stress. I was suspended right after the incident instead of being provided emotional support.  

“All because I stood up for my rights and involved the union in my pay dispute with the company.”

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