Migrant bosses exploit migrant workers

Yesterday, SBS News reported that a Crust pizza outlet owned by Indian migrants had deliberately underpaid its migrant workforce:

The Crust Pizza outlet at North Hobart, operated by QHA Foods, paid four workers from Bangladesh and India just $12 an hour and $1 per delivery between January and July 2016, the Fair Work Ombudsman says.

The international students were ripped off by a total of $9926, with their bosses also trying to hide the wage theft from the ombudsman.

QHA Foods’ director and shareholder, Anandh Kumarasamy and Haridas Raghuram, deleted the workers’ hours from records before handing them over to Fair Work inspectors.

The operators knew the workers were entitled to minimum award rates but decided to pay them much less than their Australian counterparts for making and delivering pizzas, as well as customer service and cleaning duties.

Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker was particularly concerned to see the business operators, Indian migrants themselves, taking advantage of workers from their own community.

“Singling out migrant workers for underpayment is unacceptable conduct that will not be tolerated by us or the court,” she said.

This follows a similar report a fortnight ago:

Jonathan is an international student [from China] who has been consistently underpaid at a series of part time jobs. He says that when he first arrived in Australia, he was offered $12 an hour so many times he assumed it was legal…

“There was a small supermarket owned by a Chinese couple – they told me that they could pay me $12, and they said that’s the average,” Jonathan said…

Jonathan didn’t end up taking that job, because around the same time he got a better offer — a Chinese restaurant offered to pay him $14.50 an hour instead…

It was only much later that Jonathan learnt that $14.50 an hour isn’t that great…

He says underpayment is ‘a common thing’ in local Asian restaurants…

For international students, finding a part-time job that pays minimum wage can be surprisingly tough…

“It is all too common,” Migrant Workers Centre director Matt Kunkel told The Feed. “We see it everywhere. We see in all sectors of the economy.”

The video attached to the article is well worth watching. It shows Jonathan applying for around half a dozen jobs at Chinese-run businesses, all of which offered an average pay of $12 per hour – well below the minimum wage. The report also claims that 80% of Chinese, Korean and Spanish advertised pay rates were below the minimum wage.

Unfortunately, migrant bosses exploiting migrant workers is a common trait, according to Alan Fels – the chair of the Migrant Workers Taskforce:

Former consumer watchdog Allan Fels, who is leading the government’s Migrant Workers Taskforce, said he believed one-third of international students were being exploited, with an unpaid wages bill in the billions… [He estimated] up to 145,000 students on working visas are being underpaid by employers…

Professor Fels… said workplace ­exploitation of overseas students was “widespread and systematic”…

He said exploitation of inter­national students by businesses owned by migrants from the same ethnic group was a particular problem…

That said, it is not only international students but the entire mass immigration model that is driving wage theft and exploitation. Specifically:

  • students, visa holders, tourists all work well below the minimum wage while they hope to qualify for longer-terms visas; and
  • their numbers grow endlessly, and so too does the overcapacity in the labour market.

The result is that virtually every sector of the Australian economy has been flooded with cheap migrant labour, thus eroding worker bargaining power, industrial relations standards, and facilitating wage theft.

Australia’s chronic low wage growth will not be solved until the mass immigration rort is closed.

Unconventional Economist

Leith van Onselen is Chief Economist at the MB Fund and MB Super. Leith has previously worked at the Australian Treasury, Victorian Treasury and Goldman Sachs.

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Comments

  1. Nah… it’s not systemic, it’s genuine honest mistakes, made at random by every employer in that video. And the way they concealed the figures from the ombudsman was just an accident too.

    Ask Innes Willox. After all he represents both migrants AND employers. So he should definitely know that what migrants who are also employers are doing, is at random and totally by accident, every day, all the time.

    • Exactly this, these are very common mistakes in this line of work and is completely natural. These uneducated journos cannot comment until they themselves have experienced running a business and making sure your employees are paid what they earned. These honest business owners are the victims and should be compensated for this defamation…..

    • That’s right, old Anus Bollox has plenty of examples where employees have been over-payed. It’s just that as a humanitarian and champion of the exploited he’s wanted to keep it quiet in case the young people had to pay their employer back.

      It’s in his Scottish genes to be generous to a fault. Once he paid an extra 20c for a pizza delivery and didn’t even call the police.

      It’s all random and an honest mistake. Just ask Sally McManus, it would be racist to suggest anything else…

      • Jumping jack flash

        “It’s in his Scottish genes to be generous to a fault. Once he paid an extra 20c for a pizza delivery and didn’t even call the police.”
        LOL!

  2. Not exploited.
    They know in the paddy fields of the Punjab.
    In Bangladesh, in Nepal or Malaysia,,

    They also know in the slums of Guangzhou and Mumbai of Cairo, or the shanty town favelas of Brazil..

    They all know the cash rate, the illegal jobs, the double timesheets, the going cash rate for a hooker, cleaner, deliveroo, construction, gas station, fast food..
    The ABN Fraud, the fake ID, the paying the farmers & labour rings bribes to get regional extension, the cash back in the Amway like chain of migrant only hiring migrant, 3 paid in cash on 120 hours worked as 1 pretend employee on 40 hours & so on.

    They all know exactly.
    Long before they were trafficked in by the millions (2.56 million to be exact) on a literal conveyor belt from their third world slums – to live in an equivalent Sydney or Melbourne third world migrant slum.

    It’s not migrants thieving from migrants.
    It’s migrants collectively, en mass thieving from Australia and then when caught in visa breach or mosrky visa expiry – then running off to to appeals tribunal to complain, get to stay on a protection visa, full work rights while their ‘victim case’ is masquerade thru the process taking years.
    Then they get a PR as reward.

    • Exactly. It is a question who is benefitting from these ongoing rackets, in the form of western “powers that be”. Importing these conditions, not to mention other aspects of “vibrant multiculturalism”. The slum crowding conditions these people are used to, is also something being “imported” and normal Australians (and Poms and Kiwis and Canucks and libbewwal-State Americans and western Europeans) will have to accept the same.

      If you think this is a problem in Australia, consider for a moment what slave-labour employers of ILLEGAL immigrants can get away with, which is an exponentially larger-scale problem in the USA and western Europe. Note how the “progressive” establishments are working towards abolishing “illegality” of immigration altogether, hey if they can make it to the West, they are genuine refugees owed everything by “us” and no vetting of any kind is required. If they get up to no good once they’re entrenched in western society, that’s “our fault” too.

      • Jumping jack flash

        Interesting viewpoint.
        I suppose it is a natural progression of the current ideology to think that because the “West” has had it so good for so long for whatever reason (probably attributed to “luck” by these ideologues) we now “owe” our not-so-well-off cousins in the SE Asian slums a bit of what we have.

        And these guys must all live in a bubble because I know from bitter experience that if you invite your not-so-well-off cousins [or inlaws for that matter] to live with you for any kind of extended period, basically they trash the place, eat all your food, run up all the utility bills, and then bugger off.

        • I only wish we could count on them buggering off.

          But we can’t. They’ll invite their own cousins, in-laws, etc.

  3. Migrant bosses exploit migrant workers
    it’s a spiral of violence, like tradies abused as apprentices abusing next generations of apprentices, … like doctors forced to work 30h shifts during residency making new generations by forcing them to do the same, it at all levels and it’s quite extreme in Australia

    it’s a typical pattern of behaviour, because people tend to equate what they experienced with normal and expected
    there are solutions to break the cycle but there is no political will to end

  4. We can’t force people to pay more than $12/hr. Because then they might not be able to afford the commercial rent and that would be criminal.

    • The landlord is king in this country.

      Cut teh rents and you undermine the very value of that which underpins this great eCONomy – properdy mate.

  5. boomengineeringMEMBER

    The juice factory where I just repaired a machine owned by a young Aussie ( I think), had only subcontinentals working there but the Nepalese guy hated the Indians there (women and men.)

    • I have a mate who owns a small industrial business and every one of his workers is either Vietnamese or Chinese. He’s tried to hire local Aussies before but the work is too mundane and dirty for them so they last one to two weeks and move on. The migrants have fewer choices given education and language limitations so they stick around and most of his staff have been with his business for years, decades even.

      It’s funny though, cause even they have got to grips with their employment contracts so there is always someone off work with a cold, the dog’s not well, the wife’s got a sore toe, Grandma’s arriving from Hanoi so she needs collecting from the airport etc etc. They wouldn’t get away with that sh!t back home 😉

      • Atalassian imports around 41% of their Sydney workforce from Vietnam. They’re smarter than the locals, starting Computer Science in pre-school, and don’t complain about long hours. They’re cheap, too. Only cost $57k on a 482 skilled visa.

      • “He’s tried to hire local Aussies before but the work is too mundane and dirty for them so they last one to two weeks and move on”

        More likely the pay is too low for those conditions. It could be that westerners, with the knowledge (albeit very little) of fair labor laws and what was required to achieve them, don’t want to be underpaid and abused.

        • Maybe. But the wages were known in advance, so …. nah.

          I’m gunna go with: the worthless degrees these clowns got after going to a 3rd rate Uni gave them ideas above their true station in life — they wanted to be assigned straight to the office and give the orders, not have to earn their stripes first. Let’s be frank here: they turned up to the job, looked at current staff and said to themselves “I’m better than these Asians, why should I grind away alongside them.” I think deep down you know that’s about right 😉

    • That’s quite interesting – I had not thought there would be any reason for Nepalis and Indians to hate each other, but I have heard a couple of times recently that they do, with a passion!! Welcome to multicultural vibrant ‘straya you pack of cvnts.

  6. reusachtigeMEMBER

    Nah. #fakenews and #alternativefacts! I choose to believe the official mainstream media line that no one has any idea why wages are stagnant.

    • It must be painful for you that wages are stagnant. They should be falling in order to increase the super mega profits!

    • Where’s the old chestnut about keeping prices low? Might be that business owners are pocketing the difference.

  7. Anecdotally, from Chinese Malay friend: Cleaning jobs pay $11-12, restaurant jobs pay $13-14 (what he gets). He works for mainland Chinese and can’t stand them. His dream job is minimum wage (!), working for white people.

  8. Jumping jack flash

    Certainly seems to be a win for the migrant business owners. They, like everyone else, have to obtain the necessary amounts of debt in order to achieve financial and social success!

    The pressure must be intense. How to gain the competitive edge? How to keep prices low while maximising your own incomes so debt can be obtained? So many variables. So much could go wrong.

    A fine example of having a go.
    Surely they have achieved!

    How good is debt?

    • My brother and sister in law recently sold their house to a Korean acquaintance. He runs a cleaning business and was very adamant about paying for the $850,000 house in cash (brother sister refused). On further questioning, I discovered that all his employers are paid $12 an hour.

      No debt required for that guy if they had accepted. And probably none to start his business, exploitation is all that is required.

    • It doesn’t make sense.

      You would think once they settle here, they would instantly embrace the historic views of labour relations here.

      Things like the Harvester Ruling, traditionally high minimum wages….

      What sort of peculiar capitalist country is this, in which the workers’ representatives, predominate in the Upper house and, till recently, did so in the Lower House as well, and yet the capitalist system is in no danger? – Vladimar Lenin, 1913

      Our magic dirt should transform them into embracing everything good about us, as well as infusing vibrancy and diversity to save us from ourselves.

      They are our strength, what sort of structural racism must exist here to inhibit these noble entrepreneurs-in-waiting from fulfilling the best they can be? More anti-racism legislation should do the trick …..

      For you Stewie….

      https://www.breitbart.com/europe/2019/11/04/uk-national-health-service-to-deny-treatment-for-racist-or-sexist-language-gestures-behaviour/

      I wonder if a non-white person in the UK has ever been ‘found to be racist’?

      Also, https://sputniknews.com/europe/201911021077205785-britons-call-out-get-sterilised-longon-billboard-featuring-only-white-people/

      In a city that is now minority indigenous Britons, and most media outlets have ‘diversity requirements’, why are there not non-white babies on this billboard?

      • Stewie GriffinMEMBER

        Yeah – disgusting. The NHS have extended the definition of hate to refusing stated gender. That poor woman who asked for a female nurse and was given a bloke who identified as a woman – disgusting.

        Same with those “Get Steralised” billboards that only featured white people…. on the plus side futures generations of White People are going to be phucking hard bastards, given the recent dysgenics have produced such a crop of gullible brain dead wnakers that they’re voluntarily killing themselves off.

        So many similarities between the cultural values on display or being promoted within our societies and the cultural revolution contained within the Wienmar republic…. dovetails nicely with your comment in today’s Links page with the “system owners”

        They are making the same mistake, and the hubris that filled them then will be their undoing in a few short years.

  9. SnappedUpSavvyMEMBER

    these vibrants business owners undercut honest businesses and send them to the wall, happens in shop fitting, brick laying, demolition etc as well