New accusations lodged vs Denny’s Canada

by Rowena Papasin, Balitang Canada

Posted at Jul 06 2012 04:18 PM | Updated as of Jul 07 2012 12:18 AM

VANCOUVER – Intimidation, misinformation, threats and coercion are the new accusations in the ongoing class action suit against Denny’s Restaurant.

In their application for contempt against Denny's Canada, the council for Filipino temporary workers said Denny's violated the court order to refrain from talking to their workers about the case.

Instead, the workers were called in one by one to pressure them into signing opt out forms, otherwise Denny's wont help them stay in Canada.

“Those opt outs are not valid because they are not true indication of the wishes of those employees--that those employees only opted out because of either threats or promises made to them by Denny's,” said class action lawyer Charles Gordon.

The court ordered the two month period from April to June to allow class members to voluntarily opt out of the class suits against Denny's.

Of the 19 opt out forms received, 16 were submitted just three days before the period expired last June 13.

Charo Salazar, one of the class members summoned by Denny's management immediately sought the help of Migrante BC.

Migrante executive director Jane Ordinario said Salazar felt threatened because her job and status are on the line.

“Itong ginawa sa kanila ay talagang intimidation at saka coercion para lang pilitin silang mag opt out dito sa kaso na ito,” said Ordinario.

Another class member, Joseph Velasco, who worked as a cook at Denny's said he emailed the management several months before his permit was up so they'll have enough time to arrange for his extension.

But after assuring him that they're taking care of all the paperwork, Denny's waited until the last minute to tell Velasco that his permit wont be extended if he choose to opt in.

“Denny's holds tremendous power over them not only by virtue of their employment. Denny's has tremendous ways determining whether they get a job offer,” added Gordon.

Balitang Canada tried to get the statement of Denny's several times but received no reply.