UNITE Media Release 27.4.2011 A decision was made in the Melbourne Magistrates Court last week to fine the former operators of two 7-Eleven stores $150,000. At the same time Magistrate Kate Hawkins ordered Bosen to back-pay six workers close to $90,000. Unfortunately these workers will probably never see their money. The scam was uncovered by UNITE who exposed the 7-Eleven franchise for paying as little as $9 per hour. The company Bosen Pty Ltd was ordered to pay $120,000 in penalties while the operators Hao Chen (Eddie) and Xue Jing (Jane) have been individually fined $20,000 and $10,000 respectively.
UNITE is launching the 'Respect Workers Rights' campaign, focusing on Brunswick Street, Fitzroy. Many workers in the fast food, retail and hospitality industries do not receive their full legal entitlements at work. Recently, UNITE has recieved an increase in complaints on such basic issues as pay rates, workplace health and safety and bullying and discrimination.
In response, UNITE is launching the 'Respect Workers Rights' campaign to force employers to provide their workers with at least their minimum entitlements.
There has been another victory in the campaign by the UNITE union to win fair working conditions for the workers at the St Helena, Diamond Creek and Laurimar stores in Melbourne.
The workers in these stores voted on a new Enterprise Agreement in late 2009. The agreement that was put forward by the employer sold off many entitlements like sick pay, holiday pay and penalty rates in exchange for a tiny bit extra in the base rate.
More than 30 people attended a protest outside a 7-Eleven in South Yarra on the 18th September. The action was organised by UNITE, the union campaigning against the underpayment of more than $100,000 of wages in 7-Eleven stores owned by businessman Eddie Chan. The rally was a success despite members of the riot police turning up.
The protest targeted the Domain Rd 7-Eleven store because Eddie Chan has interests in the business. Until recently Chan also owned the Moorabool Street 7-Eleven store in Geelong where he paid his workers only half of the wages they were owed.