Dozens of people came to our action at 127 Brunswick St last Friday, hundreds of hospo workers and supporters signed the petition. And it worked! The Fair Work Ombudsman is investigating the Ichi Group for wage theft.
For two years, I was a head bartender at Upside Rooftop Bar and Ichi Ni Nana at 127 Brunswick St Fitzroy and I was underpaid by at least $15,000. I got as little as $18 an hour with no penalty rates on weekends, late nights or public holidays.
The Ichi Group own five venues across Melbourne. They employ hundreds of people and I haven’t spoken to anyone who was paid correctly.
Recently, myself and fellow Hospo Voice members got together and demanded the Ichi Group pay back our stolen wages. We won back $150,000. But they only repaid those of us who signed the letter.
This venue employs many workers from overseas on temporary visas, and there is widespread exploitation of these workers. Many didn’t understand their rights, or were worried about their visas, and Ichi Group took advantage of them. Most of these workers have not been paid back any of their stolen wages.
I’m calling on the Fair Work Ombudsman to conduct a comprehensive audit of the Ichi Group and ensure they are paying correct wages and that ALL former and current employees receive their correct back pay. It’s not fair that the most vulnerable workers, who were paid even less than me, should miss out on being repaid their stolen wages.
Hospo Voice members don’t want to see this kind of exploitation of migrant workers in our industry. That’s why we are demanding ALL current and former staff are paid back everything that they are owed.
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