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If ever there was a time when we needed strong unions, it’s now

Michaelia Cash used to be called the Minister for Employment. She is now known as the Minister for Jobs and Innovation. Regardless of the sign on the door, she, and her Coalition colleagues, have been demonising unions and promoting businesses since they came into office.

Perhaps they need to have a look at who the real villains are.

Skim the following list to get an idea.

Truckies get $374,000 back-pay
17 Jan 2018

Ten truck drivers who worked for an Adelaide transport company have been back-paid a total of $374,000 following successful legal action by the Fair Work Ombudsman.

Chocolate café manager penalised $27,000 for exploiting overseas workers
16 Jan 2018

The former manager of an Oliver Brown chocolate café outlet on the Gold Coast who was ‘seeing what he could get away with’ when he exploited overseas workers has been penalised $27,200.

$50,000 back-paid to workers in Melbourne’s south east
12 Jan 2018

The Fair Work Ombudsman recently assisted workers at four businesses in suburbs south east of Melbourne to recover almost $50,000 in unpaid wages and entitlements.

Judge imposes $85,000 penalty as “sharp lesson” for repeat-offender childcare operator
9 Jan 2018

A Judge has penalised a repeat-offender Melbourne childcare operator $85,000 for her latest staff underpayments, saying she required a “sharp lesson” to make her appreciate her legal obligations.

Employer faces court for alleged underpayment of medical first aid responders
20 Dec 2017

The owner of a Melbourne health services company is facing court for allegedly short-changing medical first aid responders working at public events more than $13,000 and using false pay records.

Legal action after 71yo worker allegedly underpaid at Queensland fast food outlet
15 Dec 2017

The Fair Work Ombudsman has commenced legal action against the former operator of a fast food outlet in northern Queensland for the alleged underpayment of a 71-year-old employee.

Rogue operator penalised for exploiting overseas backpackers on NT mango farms
14 Dec 2017

The Fair Work Ombudsman has secured a $25,412 penalty in Court against a rogue operator who exploited overseas workers on mango farms near Darwin.

Political party leader who short-changed workers criticised for “arrogant” attitude
13 Dec 2017

A political party leader who promised to pay workers $30 an hour to hand out how-to-vote cards but paid them nothing has been penalised in Court and criticised by a Judge for his “arrogant” attitude and lack of remorse.

Melbourne cleaning operator allegedly ignored warnings, exploited overseas workers
12 Dec 2017

A contract cleaning operator in Melbourne is facing the Federal Circuit Court for allegedly exploiting three overseas workers, despite having been put on notice to pay employees’ lawful minimum entitlements.

Sushi operator allegedly underpaid vulnerable workers in Canberra
8 Dec 2017

The Fair Work Ombudsman has commenced legal action against the operator of a chain of sushi outlets for allegedly exploiting overseas workers in Canberra.

Caltex franchisee allegedly falsified records of wage rates paid to overseas workers
7 Dec 2017

The Fair Work Ombudsman has commenced legal action against a Caltex franchisee in Sydney for allegedly falsifying records of the wage rates it paid to overseas workers.

Record WA penalties of more than $500,000 for systematic exploitation of overseas workers
5 Dec 2017

The Fair Work Ombudsman has secured a total of $510,840 in penalties against rogue cleaning operators in Perth, with a Judge slamming them for their “deliberate”, “repeated” and “systematic” exploitation of vulnerable overseas workers.

Melbourne CBD outlets facing court for allegedly exploiting overseas workers
28 Nov 2017

The Fair Work Ombudsman has commenced legal action against the operators of a café and a retail outlet in the Melbourne CBD for allegedly paying three overseas workers as little as $11 an hour, resulting in almost $45,000 in underpayments.

FWO secures first accessorial liability penalties against an accounting firm
18 Nov 2017

The Fair Work Ombudsman has for the first time used accessorial liability laws to obtain penalties against a professional services firm for knowingly helping one of its clients exploit a vulnerable worker.

HR manager among those penalised almost $400,000 for “systematic” exploitation at restaurant
17 Nov 2017

The Fair Work Ombudsman has secured almost $400,000 in penalties against a company and three individuals – including an HR manager – for systematically exploiting overseas workers at a Chinese restaurant in NSW and fabricating records to try to cover it up.

Hobart restaurant operator allegedly underpaid vulnerable international students
15 Nov 2017

The former operator of a Tasmanian restaurant is facing Court for allegedly underpaying vulnerable workers, despite having been put on notice to pay minimum wage rates.

More than $150,000 in penalties for “deliberate” underpayment of café and deli staff
15 Nov 2017

The former operators of a café and a delicatessen in Western Australia’s South-West have been penalised more than $150,000 for deliberately underpaying employees, after eight workers were found to have been short-changed a total of $20,036.

Sham contracting arrangement results in penalty for Melbourne bike courier service
14 Nov 2017

The Fair Work Ombudsman has secured a total of $72,000 in penalties against two companies after deliberate sham contracting activity resulted in a bicycle courier in Melbourne being underpaid more than $7000.

Higher compliance rates but still cause for concern in Healthcare sector
10 Nov 2017

The Fair Work Ombudsman’s National Healthcare and Social Assistance campaign has recovered more than $100,000 for 193 workers across the industry.

Gippsland workers back-paid more than $21,000
8 Nov 2017

Twenty one workers across Victoria’s Gippsland region have been back-paid more than $21,000 in wages and entitlements after intervention by the Fair Work Ombudsman.

Multi-tasking backpacker back-paid more than $18,800
6 Nov 2017

A backpacker who worked as a restaurant manager, chef, waiter and bookkeeper at a restaurant in Hobart has been back-paid $18,812 in outstanding wages and entitlements.

Global SIM card provider back in Court after alleged failure to get message
3 Nov 2017

The Australian arm of a global mobile SIM card provider that was penalised $59,400 for exploiting migrant workers is again facing legal action after the alleged underpayment of an employee at its NSW headquarters in Parramatta.

Brisbane burger outlet operators allegedly exploited young overseas workers
1 Nov 2017

The operators of two Miel Container gourmet burger outlets in Brisbane are facing the Federal Circuit Court after 11 overseas workers were allegedly paid flat rates as low as $10 an hour, resulting in more than $155,000 in underpayments.

Melbourne manufacturing company commits to change after underpaying steelworkers $100K
31 Oct 2017

Seven Melbourne workers will be repaid more than $100,000 after the Fair Work Ombudsman executed an enforceable undertaking with an Altona-based manufacturing company.

$306,000 penalty for Perth cleaning operators who underpaid overseas workers
30 Oct 2017

The Fair Work Ombudsman has secured near-record WA penalties of $306,000 against a cleaning company that failed to pay a number of young overseas workers anything for work at a Perth hotel.

$70,000 in penalties after overseas workers’ vulnerability deliberately exploited
23 Oct 2017

The Fair Work Ombudsman has secured more than $70,000 in penalties against the former operators of a hair products retailing business for ignoring prior warnings and deliberately exploiting vulnerable overseas workers in Melbourne.

$284,000 in penalties after “heinous” conduct at Gold Coast restaurant
19 Oct 2017

The operators of a Gold Coast restaurant have been penalised more than $284,000 and criticised by a Judge for their “heinous” conduct after paying overseas workers as little as $8 an hour and using false records to try to cover it up.

7-Eleven franchisee in court after allegedly dismissing worker who refused cash-back
18 Oct 2017

A 7-Eleven Franchisee in Brisbane is facing court for allegedly dismissing a worker by removing him from the roster after he refused his employer’s request to repay an amount he had been paid.

Young workers, visa holders back-paid more than $70,000 by Brisbane businesses
13 Oct 2017

The Fair Work Ombudsman has assisted 22 workers employed by businesses in Brisbane to recover $73,279 in unpaid wages and entitlements.

Great Ocean Road workers back-paid $64,000
5 Oct 2017

The Fair Work Ombudsman has recovered $64,334 for 36 workers employed at various locations along the Great Ocean Road and Otway region of Victoria.

Goulburn Valley workers back-paid more than $34,000
4 Oct 2017

Twenty three workers in Victoria’s Goulburn Valley region have been back-paid more than $34,000 in wages and entitlements after seeking assistance from the Fair Work Ombudsman.

Young Lake Macquarie labourer back-paid $25,000
28 Sep 2017

The Fair Work Ombudsman has assisted three workers employed by businesses in the Newcastle/Hunter region of NSW to recover $38,000 in unpaid wages and entitlements.

Backpackers snap-up back-pay from far north Queensland croc farm
13 Sep 2017

Two overseas backpackers who were paid low, flat rates while working at a crocodile farm in far north Queensland have been back-paid more than $13,000, following an investigation by the Fair Work Ombudsman.

Perth curry house operator faces Court over alleged unlawful cash-back exploitation
6 Sep 2017

A former Perth restaurant operator is facing Court for allegedly requiring a Bangladeshi worker to repay thousands of dollars of his wages – and then dismissing him because he lodged a workers’ compensation claim after injuring his back at work.

Maximum penalty and CDPP referral for labour-hire operator’s “appalling” treatment of visa holder
4 Sep 2017

A Melbourne labour-hire operator who paid an apprentice overseas mechanic nothing for almost three months work has been hit with maximum penalties and referred to the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions.

$37,000 pay day for Melbourne workers
30 Aug 2017

The Fair Work Ombudsman has assisted two workers in suburbs north of Melbourne to recover more than $37,000 in unpaid wages and entitlements after they contacted the agency for assistance.

Franchisee from popular Perth restaurant chain faces Court
24 Aug 2017

The Fair Work Ombudsman has commenced another legal action relating to a franchisee of the Han’s Café chain in Perth, alleging staff at an outlet in the city’s south-east were underpaid more than $67,000.

Gold Coast workers back-paid $50,000
23 Aug 2017

Three workers in Queensland’s Gold Coast region have been back-paid more than $50,000 in owed wages and entitlements after seeking assistance from the Fair Work Ombudsman.

Meatball and Wine Bar faces court for allegedly underpaying 26 workers, including visa holders
22 Aug 2017

A Melbourne restaurateur will face court after his company allegedly underpaid 26 workers including visa holders across three of his restaurants, despite having received professional advice on its wage obligations.

Farming waste company promises compliance step-up after underpaying workers nearly $94,000
18 Aug 2017

A farming waste company in regional NSW that underpaid 16 truck drivers nearly $94,000 is back-paying the workers and overhauling its workplace practices, following intervention by the Fair Work Ombudsman.

Workplace audits indicate room for improvement for small businesses in the Kimberley
17 Aug 2017

Spot checks of several small businesses in Broome in Western Australia’s Kimberley region have recovered $8643 in owed wages for local workers.

Pizza Hut franchisee underpaid staff almost $20,000
11 Aug 2017

The franchisee of a Pizza Hut outlet at Newcastle, in NSW, underpaid 24 employees a total of almost $20,000, an investigation by the Fair Work Ombudsman has found.

Court action after young journalists allegedly underpaid more than $300,000
4 Aug 2017

A company that operates news websites covering regional Queensland is facing the Federal Circuit Court for allegedly underpaying 23 young journalists more than $300,000 over a period of less than 18 months.

Record penalty of $660,000 for fruit market operator after refugee goes without pay for weeks
2 Aug 2017

Record penalties of more than $660,000 have been awarded against the former owner of a Melbourne fruit market and his company which deliberately ignored warnings about required pay rates and did not pay a refugee worker any wages for weeks.

Sushi operator allegedly underpaid vulnerable workers in regional NSW
1 Aug 2017

The Fair Work Ombudsman has commenced legal action against the operators of three ‘Tokyo Sushi’ outlets in NSW for allegedly underpaying workers more than $70,000.

Labour-hire operator penalised for flouting laws relating to overseas workers on Queensland farms
26 Jul 2017

A Queensland labour-hire company and its manager have been penalised a total of more than $84,000 after flouting record-keeping and pay slip laws relating to vulnerable foreign workers, despite having previously been cautioned by the Fair Work Ombudsman.

More than $100,000 in unpaid wages and entitlements recovered for Perth workers
26 Jul 2017

Intervention by the Fair Work Ombudsman to assist employees and employers to resolve workplace disputes has resulted in more than $100,000 back-pay for 41 workers across Perth.

Deliberate and systemic underpayments lead to penalties against a former 7-Eleven operator
25 Jul 2017

A former Brisbane 7-Eleven operator has been hit with $168,000 in penalties for short-changing workers and falsifying records to conceal the underpayments.

Not for profit back-pays $370,000 to workers after disability classification mistake
21 Jul 2017

A not-for-profit business in northern NSW inadvertently underpaid 18 employees a total of more than $370,000 after incorrectly classifying each of them as an ‘employee with a disability’, an audit by the Fair Work Ombudsman has found.

Melbourne travel agency lands in court for alleged cashback schemes, underpayments and false records
20 Jul 2017

A Melbourne travel agency and one of its directors are facing court for allegedly requiring an overseas worker to pay back more than $20,000 of her wages and for proposing to enter into a similar cashback scheme with a second worker.

Joint operation uncovers alleged exploitation of overseas workers at Melbourne restaurants
17 Jul 2017

The operator of two popular Melbourne restaurants is facing Court after a raid conducted as part of a joint-operation allegedly discovered employees had been underpaid almost $31,000 over a period of just two weeks.

Townsville café operator faces legal action over failure to pay compensation
14 Jul 2017

The former operator of a café at Townsville in regional Queensland is facing court for allegedly ignoring a Fair Work Commission order to compensate an employee who was unfairly dismissed.

More than $140,000 recovered for local workers in Far North Queensland campaign
13 Jul 2017

The Fair Work Ombudsman has released the findings of its recent campaign targeting businesses in Cairns, Innisfail, Mission Beach and surrounding areas.

No VIP treatment for guards allegedly dismissed, underpaid by Gold Coast company
12 Jul 2017

A Gold Coast security company owner is facing the Federal Circuit Court after allegedly threatening to send staff “straight to the dole queue” if they spoke to Fair Work Ombudsman inspectors.

Subway franchisee faces Court over alleged deliberate underpayment of Chinese worker
7 Jul 2017

The franchisee of two Subway outlets in Sydney is facing Court for allegedly short-changing a Chinese worker more than $16,000.

Fruit farmer allegedly underpaid Malaysian workers and used false records
5 Jul 2017

The Fair Work Ombudsman has commenced legal action against a fruit farmer in northern Victoria for allegedly underpaying two Malaysian fruit pickers more than $13,000 and providing false and misleading records to Fair Work inspectors.

Penalty over failure to back-pay Indian workers
4 Jul 2017

A Fair Work Ombudsman legal action has secured a penalty against the former operator of an Indian restaurant in suburban Melbourne for failing to back-pay two underpaid Indian workers.

Melbourne cafe operator back in Court after 54 employees allegedly underpaid $73,000
3 Jul 2017

The operator of a 24-hour café in Melbourne’s Crown Casino precinct is facing Court for allegedly undercutting minimum wage and penalty rates despite having been put on notice, resulting in 54 employees being underpaid more than $70,000.

And that’s just the last six months. If you can take any more, consult the Fair Work Ombudsman’s site.

The overwhelming message is that many employees, particularly those on visas, are being exploited, underpaid, and denied entitlements. No wonder young Aussies can’t get jobs.

If ever there was a time when we needed strong unions, it’s now.


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  1. George Swalwell

    I am literally stunned by this almost endless list of people being
    exploited, underpaid and/or cheated by so many unscrupulous
    employers! Each one of these instances can be read by clicking
    on to the pale blue printing.
    AND this was for only six months!

    I am appalled and must confess I had no idea how widespread
    was this cheating, often of overseas workers. Imagine the bad
    publicity this must cause back in their home countries.
    PLUS it not just bad publicity it is totally unethical and dishonest.

    Why not JAIL some of these cheaters, especially repeat offenders?

    Kaye you are a marvel. Thanks you and much power to your clear
    sighted investigative skills.

  2. townsvilleblog

    If you are without a union in the 21st century it seems that you are easy picking, it is good to know that a new union has sprung up and is doing good things for the Retail and Fast Food Workers which is the name of the union RFFWU it certainly pays to be a member of a union. I too had been underpaid and the Australian Services Union had my money returned to me, a long time ago, I wouldn’t work without a union.

  3. Wayne Turner

    And they are just the one’s we know about..

  4. babyjewels10

    Many times that amount of victims would have felt disempowered to follow up, or have gone back home o/s or don’t know their rights. Theft from employees is becoming commonplace, it seems as we go down the track to become peasant slaves.

  5. Freethinker

    This is beyond the need for a strong union this is asking for decency and protect Australia reputation.

    ‘Slave labour’ and sexual exploitation: calls for investigation into backpacker abuse

    In another link, quote:
    “We first went to Fair Work, who told us we were being grossly underpaid but all we could do was report them. They told us there wasn’t anything they could do as they only went after companies that were larger and had been reported several times. We were advised to take them to court.

  6. Phil

    Good work Kaye – putting these cases of employers exploitation in one long list on independent media makes it much more likely to be shared and read widely.

    The conservatives have almost reached their goal of creating a nation wide, unrepresented, low paid and submissive work force to be readily exploited by employers aka the Coalitions partners-in-crime.

  7. Florence nee Fedup

    If one followed TURC, you would soon realise much of the violence alleged against union officials was dealing with corrupt contractors, Labour Hire, especially when demanding that workers super be paid. Come up again and again. Cash didn’t seem to notice.

  8. Freethinker

    Phil, unions are strong as the willing of it members or people in the work force that are prepared to join it.
    I have said this many times but have not received many replies, people have the choice, consume less and be credits free to be able to defend their interests or go greedy for material things and sell their freedom.
    People have took one of the options and now have to face their consequences.
    They are powerless to defend themselves or others, further more they sold all the working conditions gained by previous generations that have going to struggle to gain them.

  9. Matters Not

    A union is just another name for collective action. Sometimes collective action goes under the name of an association (as in the AMA) or a council (as in the BCA) and so on. To be really effective over the longer term, collective action is necessary. That’s why people join political parties. Yes it’s ironic that members of the LNP decry collective action in the form of unions yet fail to recognise their own penchant for collective action.via membership of a political party. Then membership of a faction then a Cabinet and so on.

    Collective action has so much going for it.

  10. ksttcctevenson

    Also think of overseas workers in China, Bangladesh etc. exploited by big companies overseas – we must be prepared to pay more for clothing etc. If these workers were paid even our minimum wage it would distribute work fairly throughout the world and those in developing countries would be closer to our conditions BUT we need a concerted effort to work out sustainability of natural resources with so much more demand for consumables.

  11. stephengb2014

    Absolutely brilliant list Kaye, thank you.

    Now I know where to find this info I can use it!

    Matters Not – yes indeed may I copy and use your comment?

  12. Jack Russell

    Look at the collective actions of GetUp! … over 1m members … and don’t the right-wing fascists loathe its power to effect change.

    If you work, join a union … and if you are unemployed, there’s a union for you too. Don’t just lay down in the middle of the road and invite the enemy to run over you. JOIN A UNION!

  13. Matters Not

    Here’s A list of employer groups that engage in collective action to exert power and/or influence.

    Australian Aluminium Council
    Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry
    Australian Federation of Employers and Industries (AFEI)
    Australian Industry Group
    Australian Uranium Association
    Business Council of Australia
    Business Software Association of Australia
    Cotton Australia
    Insulation Council of Australia and New Zealand
    The Pharmacy Guild of Australia
    Victorian Employers’ Chamber of Commerce and Industry
    Federal Chamber of Automotive Industry

    And let’s not forget the IPA which is a secret society a bit like the Mafia.

  14. Richard Grant

    Great article to counter balance the week main stream press. It is articles like this that has made me cancel my subscription to Fairfax Media specifically The Melbourne Age after 40 years of reading the paper.

  15. 245179

    Ok, i’m not anti union, but employers in the main are. The rise and rise of “casual,part time, seasonal, perm casual,perm part time, fixed term”, plus other terminologies, all these terms / conditions to your actually getting a start with “that employer” would significantly lessen if you mentioned “union” would it not.
    “Bunnings” for example, biggest hardware chain in australia, 90+% of the floor employees, all casual/part time. Seeking full time perm is not on offer. In fact i’m told, tick the box as a union member on your application, that’s pretty well the end of your application.

  16. jimhaz

    Yep. Fully agree. I said this is relation to the upcoming Sydney train strike – which will cost me 2 days leave.

    “Good. It is way past time for unions to strike more and more often (in terms of real wage maintenance and protection from neoliberal management practices – not for advancing conditions anymore)

    Andrew Constance is not the type to listen to anyone but himself or his LNP mates”

  17. Ellen

    Yes, support the Unions, they are up against the likes of the NSW Roads Minister, who yesterday floated the idea that one way to lower the road toll was to give truck drivers an electric shock when they look away from the road. I suppose it’s possible to think of truck drivers as cattle if one has next to no empathy, so leave her some wiggle room there. However, trial this idea in Parliament House firstly, an electric shock to Ministers when they snooze or get off topic in Question Time.
    See how that goes.

  18. Kaye Lee

    Speaking of the truck drivers, think back to April 2016….

    “The government will introduce legislation next week to immediately abolish a tribunal that sets minimum pay rates for truck owner-drivers.

    Cash labelled the road safety remuneration tribunal part of a “sweetheart deal” with the Transport Workers Union and said its pay order would “destroy tens of thousands of family businesses across Australia” if not torn up.

    On Monday Shorten reiterated Labor’s position that it was in favour of setting minimum pay rates for independent contractors, which are designed to reduce road deaths by removing financial incentives to skip breaks or speed.”


    Across the country more than 1000 people were killed in truck crashes in the five years to 2016 (and it seems to be getting worse recently).

    Ellen, add drug and alcohol testing before they enter the chamber to vote.

  19. David Stakes

    Most have been feared out of being in a Union by employers.

  20. lawrencewinder

    What an indictment… a litany of failure that I’m sure The Harpy, Cash would wear as a badge of honour!

  21. 245179

    A “truck” incidence, front pages, on the telly news, and here we are..knee jerk reactions. In the scheme of things, trucks are way down in crash statistics, way down. Yet daily we are subjected to car crash after car crash……and it’s almost accepted as the norm. Speed is the number one cause…..speed, and every single car on the roads can exceed 160kph, most capable of 200+. But hangon, aren’t our legal road limits 100, so why not “speed limit cars”, just like TRUCKS.
    “speed” is promoted in the sales brochures, ( yes sir, this car can accelerate to 100kph in 4.33 secs, and is capable of 200kph + )…hello

  22. Freethinker

    Quote from NSW Roads Minister Melinda Pavey:
    “The technology now is so advanced, a driver can be driving and get an electric shock if they look away from the windscreen for more than two seconds,”

  23. Max Gross

    ‘seeing what he could get away with’ is LNP core ideology

  24. Kaye Lee


    In many crashes involving trucks, cars were at fault. But there are things that can be done to improve the truck side of things.

    This is a good article giving a few ideas. He doesn’t mention pay but, considering the author is the managing director of Toll Group, that’s possibly understandable. Some of his ideas also favour a big business like his as opposed to smaller concerns, but they are worth discussing.


  25. Rob

    Great work Kaye, I get the impression you could have added a lot more links / articles to the list. I his first reign of terror,J W Howard made sure he appealed to the aspirationals. Those who wanted to be ‘effulent’ or those on the cusp. Our middle Class has been slowly erroding.

    senator cash like amanda vanstone before her, a second rate lawyer, unsuited to the level of work required by someone in a legal position, wormed her way into right-wing politics and poof a right wing parakeete is born. A mouthpiece for everything that is wrong, and easy to manipulate. Accountabiity, is not in her ministerial brief then or now.

    The Liberal motto should be, “In pursuit of excellence, time and again they reward mediocrity.”

  26. Glenn Barry

    I cannot wait until Cash is yet again standing up in Parliament with her bellicose ranting against the CFMEU, then I look forward to the outcome of the Federal Police Investigation into the media leak.
    I hope the senate inquiries continue to pursue her with full vigour.

    From her own facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/SenatorCash/posts/639605126065194

    The replies she got for this post are fun to read…

    Margaret Thatcher was one of the greatest British prime ministers and one of the most significant world leaders of our times. She was the first female prime minister of Great Britain and ranks with the greatest of prime ministers because of the quality of her leadership. and the impact she had on Britain and the wider world. Margaret Thatcher arrested the decline of Britain and gave the British people renewed confidence. She ensured the British people no longer simply dwelt on the glories of the past but could enjoy a strong and prosperous future. The thoughts of the Coalition are with Baroness Thatcher’s family and the British people at this time……

    One word: DISGUSTING

  27. Stephen Dean

    The interesting issue with this sort of GRANDSTANDING is that when you break this down into ‘digestable’ chunks there are 20 ‘alleged’ breaches in Victoria.
    Given the total number of employers in this state (excluding self employed) we have 265,000 potenial “CRIMINALS” which makes this as the Don says “FAKE NEWS”
    Furthermore, the use of the TENDER PROCESS where only the LOWEST PRICE is accepted, and subsequently exploited by RUTHLESS BULLYING UNIONS, such as the CFMEU.
    A tradie puts his family assets on the table and Tenders to a Builder to supply and hang Platerboard. He allows ‘Typical RATES’ and has sufficient labour to do the agreed Tasks, until the Union’s interference under the pretext usually on “safety” but more recently on 457 Visas and other political motivated issues.
    The labour component that was more than adequate on the last project, suddenly is insufficient on certain ‘targetted’ sites and an underpayments are not inconceivable. Regularly, for reasons totally intoward or the fault of the specific Tradie, othee subbies delay the project and the Builder requires this Contractor to work overtime and weekends and then doesn’t have the capabilities to pay the actual wages used to complete the tasks

  28. Harry

    This federal government pursues Centrelink clients with robodebts but slaps employers with a wet lettuce leaf or just lets them get away with out and out wage theft.

    If you hate Australia vote Coalition.

  29. Harry

    Stephen Dean: I think you are grossly under-stating the employer fraud that has been and probably still going on. No need to shout with your Liberal use of Capitals, we can hear you louder than clear.

  30. Freethinker

    Stephen Dean if was not for the RUTHLESS BULLYING UNIONS” we will working 84 hours a week for a bowl or oats and few pieces of dried meat.
    It appears to me two things: you have not idea how much gratitude you should have towards the unions for the working conditions gained by struggles in the past or you are one of those that leech and step over others to satisfying a position at work which providing you with better conditions to the others at the price of crawling, something like Waylon Smithers and Mr Burns characters in the Simpsons
    Not wonder we have Cash and Dutton in government.!!!!

  31. Kaye Lee


    We just had our kazillionth inquiry into trade unions costing tens of millions of dollars resulting in very few prosecutions (one successful one of which I am aware). I do not expect anybody to have read the cases I listed – the intent was to show how many employers have been prosecuted in the last few months alone. I am sure there have been a few trade union officials who have done the wrong thing but they pale in comparison to the wrongdoing by employers.

    The only thing a worker owns is their labour and they should be entitled to supply or withdraw it as they see fit. The only collective that can negotiate on behalf of employees is the union.

    Practically all of the cases are about employers exploiting overseas workers. If they can pay them $10 an hour, why would they employ a citizen who must be paid the minimum wage at least.

    This behaviour is destroying the country.

  32. Harry

    Matters Not: I would add the Minerals Council to your list.

    Its obvious to me the employer unions, aided and abetted by the political front known as the Turnbull government are in the business of screwing employees and the unemployed and those on benefits. And they have been very successful…. so far.

  33. Matters Not

    Harry, the ‘list’ was a simple cut and paste from Wiki. Nothing original.

    Sorry I didn’t make that clear.

    But maybe, in the whole scheme of things, it matters not?

  34. John Lord

    Particularly damming when you see a list like that.

  35. corvus boreus

    Of the groups listed (and not) by matters not, I reckon the Minerals Council are a standout in terms of pushing their agenda.
    Apart from things like funding the ‘anti-mining tax’ ads and supplying promotional hi-vis apparel for politicians, the MCA are pretty blatant about their brown-bag lobbying for political access.

  36. Kaye Lee

    Does Gina Rinehart count as a group?

    “Business as usual will not do, not when West African competitors can offer our biggest customers an average capital cost for a tonne of iron ore that’s $100 under the price offered by an emerging producer in the Pilbara,” Ms Rinehart said. “Furthermore, Africans want to work, and its workers are willing to work for less than $2 per day. Such statistics make me worry for this country’s future.”


    Unions are outraged by a decision to allow world’s richest woman Gina Rinehart to import more than 1,700 foreign workers on 457 visas for her latest project in Western Australia.


    The Federal Government is being asked to investigate claims that 457 work visas are being abused at Gina Rinehart’s $10 billion Roy Hill iron ore project in the Pilbara.

    Aside from being asked to do work outside their visa conditions, the CFMEU alleges many of the staff are working more than 84 hours a week and being paid as little as $16 an hour.


    Gina Rinehart-backed Bannister Downs Dairy has warned Australia has a problematic new “workforce culture”, in which young people did not want to do menial labour or wanted to get paid too much money to do it.

    Bannister Downs managing director Sue Daubney said many young people did not want to work in agriculture, which is why the sector needed to recruit foreign workers on 457 or temporary work visas.


  37. Glenn Barry

    @Kaye Lee – Gina qualifies as a conglomerate of ghastly, grotesque greed – amazing that she has amassed so much money whilst required to stratospherically overpay Australian workers.
    Her concern is always for herself alone and always will be…

  38. Kyran

    Back in April, 2017;

    “The president of the Australian Council of Trade Unions, Ged Kearney, has withdrawn from the government’s advisory body on skilled migration in protest at changes to temporary work visas.”
    “In a letter sent on Thursday to the Australian Industry Group chief executive, Innes Willox, who chairs the council, Kearney also set out the union movement’s substantive objections to the new scheme, which it believes fails to crack down on rorts and the exploitation of workers.”


    Since then, the wailing banshee’s, Cash and Dutton, have been in charge. Yeah, I know, banshee’s are typically described as female. Dutton is most often described as female genitalia. As per his world, near enough is good enough. Let’s talk about conflict of interest. The immigration minister has stopped the boats, but increased the planes. If you arrive by plane, no harm, no foul. No enquiry, no prosecution. If you arrive by boat, straight to jail. No charge, no prosecution, no trial. Forget Monopoly. The foregoing of $200 doesn’t begin to compensate.

    How can you be the supreme regulator of who comes into the country merely by the method of their arrival, all the while ignoring what is done with them when they get here? Perhaps, there’s this.

    “It comes as a former immigration official claims that a focus on boat arrivals has allowed migration crime involving people arriving by plane to flourish unchecked.
    “In the border security debate, it has been easy to deflect the public’s attention to boat arrivals,” said Joseph Petyanszki, who worked at the Department of Immigration for 27 years and was joint head of the Department’s investigation office between 2007 and 2013.
    “But this fear-mongering has totally ignored where the vast bulk of real fraud is, most significantly undermining our immigration programs.”
    He said the department was ignoring tens of thousands of cases of visa rorting, including thousands of successful visa applicants his investigators uncovered in Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania and Western Australia.”

    Or this, from the same article;

    “As a business we were issuing or sponsoring visas for workers as project co-ordinators, project administrators, where that role didn’t exist on our site and these people, their actual jobs was as a labourer on the ground,” he said.
    He believes what he discovered was blatant fraud.
    “We would have employees be sponsored as quite a senior role but be operating an excavator or working as a labourer,” he said.
    “Many of these people didn’t have the training even to operate machines when they came to the country.”
    Mr Raven said he had personally identified at least 30 workers at Murphy Pipe and Civil who appeared to be in breach of migration laws.”


    Yes, that article is old. The story has not changed. From this morning’s news, the shenanigans continue, unabated.

    “But those practices aside, the ACTU president, Ged Kearney, says labour-hire companies “adopt a business model of undercutting pay and conditions to win contracts and displace permanent jobs with insecure casualised jobs”.
    “This makes the problems of insecure work and low wage growth worse for everyone but especially those working for labour-hire companies,” she says.
    “Labour hire is a tactic that corporations use to organise their workforce and keep them out of the collective bargaining system … workers have to be able to bargain where the power is.””


    “The overwhelming message is that many employees, particularly those on visas, are being exploited, underpaid, and denied entitlements. No wonder young Aussies can’t get jobs.
    If ever there was a time when we needed strong unions, it’s now.”

    Particularly when the one in charge of employment and the one in charge of immigration are one and the same.

    “Does Gina Rinehart count as a group?”
    Trying desperately to be polite, she may not be a group, but she is certainly representative of a large body. Many years ago a friend made a rather poor joke, to which another friend laughed long and hard. I asked the first friend why he told the joke (which wasn’t very funny), to which he replied it was to see the second friend’s reaction. The second friend was carrying a few extra kilo’s. The first friend observed that when he laughs, so much of him has a really good time.
    Does she count as a group? Hardly. But when she laughs, so many of her friends have a really good time.
    Thank you Ms Lee and commenters. Take care

  39. Peter F

    “Does Gina Rinehart count as a group?” Kaye, she has appeared to be a group, but the numbers are thinning.

  40. Cool Pete

    It’s not, as one commentator put it, “Cash didn’t seem to notice,” cash couldn’t give a flying frog’s rectum about it as she wants to see people disempowered and acting as slaves to corporate masters who she wants to have all the rights. To say that she knows what it’s like to be poor is preposterous as, despise having the intellect of a pine needle, she is the daughter of a prominent Western Australian Liberal politician and travelled, presumably, with Daddy sending her money if and when she wanted it. I am not a misogynist, but in her case, it is true to say that she wouldn’t be where she is now if it weren’t for Daddy. People who’d vote Liberal in WA would know who her father is and would vote for that party on that alone, and they’d know who her father is.

  41. win jeavons

    Has anyone any idea how many such abuses go unreported? How many employers offer casual work for $10 an hour? These never get to courts or the media. . This nation appears to be riddled with corruption now .

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