Unite, the fighting union for fast food and retail workers, organised a protest on May 19 against the ongoing exploitation of 7-Eleven workers. 7-Eleven’s half-pay scam has made national headlines in recent months.
This scrutiny initially forced the company into damage control, resulting in the formation of an independent panel to assess claims of stolen wages. This panel recovered about $16 million in back pay with thousands of claims still to be processed. Estimates put the final pay-out at around $100 million.
In a brazen attempt to avoid paying the workers what they are owed, 7-Eleven has since abolished the panel in favour of dealing with back pay matters in-house.
While the case of 7-Eleven is a particularly stark example, underpayment and wage theft is rampant in the retail, fast food and service sectors. Building a militant union presence in these industries is a necessary first step to make sure that workers are paid everything they are entitled to.
However, exploitation remains an inherent part of the profit-driven capitalist system. This is why socialists stand for the creation of a new type of society where people’s needs are put before profits.
To read more about the 7-Eleven scandal or to join Unite visit: unite.org.au
By Jeremy Trott
Photo courtesy of Wardenclyffe Photography