The 7-Eleven investigation has taken a new turn after it was discovered that the retail convenience store paid only 47 cents per hour to some of its employees.
During the investigation, it was found that a Pakistani student was only paid 47 cents an hour for serving at a 7-Eleven store in Sydney. In 2015, Fairfax Media and ABC’s Four Corners revealed that the workers, especially foreign employees, were underpaid by 7-Eleven. According to the ABC, the chain store established an investigation panel to inquire about the complaints filed by around 20,000 past as well as present employees of the store franchises.
Maurice Blackburn Lawyers have attended the matter and represented 60 7-Eleven staffers. They claimed that a Pakistani student, Sohail, was paid only $325 for almost 685 hours of work. The lawyers also confirmed that one of their clients have been already paid back $270,000.
“An entire day’s work would only buy some 7-Eleven staff a single cup of coffee. This indicates the scale of this horrific employee exploitation,” Maurice Blackburn Employment Principal Giri Sivaraman said as quoted by Ten Play.“It should not be happening in Australia, we are not a third world country.”
According to Ten Eyewitness News, Maurice Blackburn Lawyers has advocated introducing compulsory employment education for international workers. The program would focus on informing staff about Australian payment details and also advising them to learn how to file complaints and official grievances.
Consumer advocate Michael Fraser, who held a very important role in bringing this underpayment issue to national attention, has also requested other people facing similar issues to come forward and share their stories. “These workers are truly courageous for coming forward after having endured un-Australian and egregious treatment at the hands of 7-Eleven and their franchisees,” he said.
“There is a lot of work still to be done, but hearing they are getting their back pay gives me the greatest of joy.”