Lawyers and union calling for clarification on new 7-Eleven panel terms of reference
17 May 2016
Maurice Blackburn Lawyers and the SDA - the union for retail, fast-food and warehouse workers – are calling for 7-Eleven to publicly release Terms of Reference for its new wages panel or face further legal action.
The warning comes in response to letters sent yesterday by forensic accountants Deloitte and the convenience chain head office, which fail to clarify exactly what the process will be for 7-Eleven employees trying to make claims in the underpayment scandal.
“The letters contain phrases like “at this stage” and “haven’t been asked” which implies things could be different in the near future. The company cannot be reckless when it comes to the private information of these employees, many of whom have risked their safety to come forward,” said Maurice Blackburn Employment Principal, Giri Sivaraman.
Maurice Blackburn and the SDA have raised other concerns after reading the responses including:
that the number of 7-Eleven staff dealing with claims will increase from 2 to 5. The identity of these extra individuals has not been revealed and could extend further as the correspondence states “at this stage”
the Terms of Reference for the new claims process have not been publically disclosed
it is not clear if employees will be required to consent to revealing their identities before receiving repayments
“None of our clients have consented to anything but review by the independent Fels panel. Until we see the new Terms of Reference we are at a stalemate,” said Mr Sivaraman.
National Secretary of the SDA, the union representing 7-Eleven employees, Gerard Dwyer says the immediate focus needs to be on protecting the privacy of workers.
“We can’t sit back and risk former and current 7-Eleven workers being subjected to even more intimidation and abuse,” said Mr Dwyer.
Maurice Blackburn and the SDA have today offered to work with the company to ensure the Terms of Reference for the new process is fair and provides proper protections.
An injunction is still being considered if the employees’ legal team are not satisfied with the response from 7-Eleven and Deloitte, due by of close of business tomorrow (Wednesday 18th May)