In the latest instalment of the 7-Eleven wage rip-off saga, franchisees from a Melbourne store have been fined $150,000 for underpaying 12 of their staff $84,000. While this wage theft took place the franchisees built up a $3 million property investment portfolio.
International students and migrants are disproportionately targeted by dodgy employers like these 7-Eleven franchisees. They seek to maximise their profits by driving down wages and conditions, and in the case of 7-Eleven, cooking their books to cover their tracks.
The UNITE union first exposed the 7-Eleven wage scam back in 2008. Recently the issue has made national headlines and hundreds of franchisees have been exposed paying their staff as little as $5 an hour.
The best way to combat low pay and exploitation is to build fighting unions that unite workers from all different backgrounds. Australia has a rich history of union militancy but unfortunately those traditions have been lost over the past few decades.
It’s time to revive these proud traditions and take a stand against employers targeting the most disadvantaged. Our efforts need to be directed at greedy bosses that seek to exploit us all in order to make a quick buck.
By Jorden Griggs