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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Fair Work Ombudsman has commenced legal action against the operator of a chain of sushi outlets for allegedly exploiting overseas workers in Canberra.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Fair Work Ombudsman’s National Healthcare and Social Assistance campaign has recovered more than $100,000 for 193 workers across the industry.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Spot checks of several small businesses in Broome in Western Australia’s Kimberley region have recovered $8643 in owed wages for local workers.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Fair Work Ombudsman has released the findings of its recent campaign targeting businesses in Cairns, Innisfail, Mission Beach and surrounding areas.
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.
The franchisee of two Subway outlets in Sydney is facing Court for allegedly short-changing a Chinese worker more than $16,000.
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.
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.
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.