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The Canadian Press

Zellers fires poor dad for taking chocolate from trash for his kids

The Canadian Press, December 21, 2005

ST-HYACINTHE, Quebec A single father of three fired for taking chocolate bars from a garbage bin at a Zellers store will get some Christmas cheer from a charitable organization.

Guy Masse, 47, had planned to give the discarded chocolate to his children, ages six, nine and 15, for Christmas.

Masse, who was on welfare and had been working at the store only for a couple of months, was first suspended and then fired.

"I think its inhuman," Masse told CJAD radio station in Montreal of his dismissal.

Zellers, which is part of Toronto-based retailer Hudsons Bay Co., has said Masse should have notified his supervisor that he was taking the chocolate out of the garbage at the St-Hyacinthe store, about 50 kilometres east of Montreal.

"It's a very unfortunate situation. We would never have willingly let an associate go at this time of year without just cause," said HBC spokes woman Hillary Stauth in an interview from Toronto.

"Unfortunately, this associate breached the trust of his supervisors by removing merchandise from the store, and as a result, he was let go from his position."

Established in 1670, Hudson's Bay is Canada's largest department store chain and oldest company with more than 500 outlets, led by the Bay and Zellers chains.

Added Stauth: "We have over 70,000 across Canada. They work so hard especially at this time of year. Its very upsetting that one bad employee tarnished the reputation of everybody else."

Montreal's Sun Youth Organization said Tuesday that Masses family will be provided for this Christmas.

"Its important to Sun Youth now that this family will have a Christmas that they deserve, food on the table and gifts for the kids," Sun Youths Tommy Kulcyzk told CJAD.