Many members will recall the shocking working conditions in 7-Eleven stores revealed by the ABC’s Four Corners program in 2015.
The SDA and Maurice Blackburn Lawyers have continued to fight for, and represent, both current and former 7-Eleven workers in reclaiming their lost wages and entitlements.
After years of advocacy, we welcome the news that 7-ELEVEN paid back more than $173 million in stolen wages to over 4000 workers.
The workplace issues we have seen include 7-Eleven employees working double the hours that are on their payslip. Effectively, these workers are getting half the pay.
The other common approach is that employees work the right hours but, to help the franchises get wages down, employees are required to give back some of their wages as cash.
This cash is often used by the franchisee to pay other employees who do not appear anywhere on the books.
Further, the hourly rate of pay - which is a flat rate - applies for night work, weekend work and public holidays. Generally, this rate has ranged between $9 and $14 per hour!
We have also come across issues around superannuation. In some circumstances, it is just not paid.
The other unfortunate and recurring themes are that 7-Eleven employees have to compensate the franchisee for losses arising from shoplifting and, if their cash register is short, there is another common pattern that they have to make up the difference in the register at the end of their shift.
Unfortunately, we know that underpayment remains rife in industries that employ large migrant workforces.
Our success at 7-Eleven demonstrates that unions are critical to ensuring workers aren’t ripped off by unethical employers.
Remember, contact the SDA if you ever think you are not being paid correctly. We are here to help.