PM can’t remain silent on exploitation of 7-Eleven workers

The Prime Minister must immediately adopt the key recommendations of the Senate Report which looked into the 7-Eleven scandal in order to stop the continuing exploitation of workers in Australia.


The report, A National Disgrace: The Exploitation of Temporary Work Visa Holders, by the Education and Employment References Committee recommends a suite of actions be taken to put a stop to the terrible treatment of foreign workers, including an overhaul of the Franchising Code of Conduct and changes to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection’s procedures.


SDA, the union for retail, fast-food and warehouse workers, National Secretary, Gerard Dwyer said if the Prime Minister doesn’t begin implementing the recommendations, he will be deliberately allowing the exploitation of thousands of workers to continue.


“The Senate committee has spent many hours hearing the horrific details of the exploitation of 7-Eleven workers,” Mr Dwyer said. “There is now a detailed report containing very specific recommendations sitting on the Prime Minister’s desk begging for action.


“We can’t allow this to be swept under the rug. The Prime Minister has been completely silent in the face of overwhelming evidence of appalling exploitation that has been allowed to continue on his watch.


“It’s critical that the key recommendations of this senate report are implemented in order to put a stop to the exploitation.


“We would have liked to have seen some specific recommendations designed to improve union’s access to the wage books of companies like 7-Eleven so that compliance with legal minimums can be enforced without individual workers having to put their jobs on the line. However this report is certainly a good start in pushing back against unscrupulous employer conduct.


“We know that right now the exploitation of workers is continuing in stores right across Australia – and not just in 7-Eleven stores. Why is the Prime Minister refusing to acknowledge it, let alone take real action to address it?


“Unfortunately we’re still in a position where workers are too scared to come forward publicly with details of their exploitation for fear of the repercussions. Many of these workers are still fearful that there could be an impact on their visa conditions.


“We need to see a real overhaul of laws to ensure workers can’t continue to exploited like we’ve seen at 7-Eleven.”

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