A Unions NSW audit has found the hospitality industry is a particularly bad offender in advertising jobs to foreign workers for below award pay.
A Unions NSW audit has found the hospitality industry is a particularly bad offender in advertising jobs to foreign workers for below award pay. LUKAS COCH

Non-English speakers ripped off

KOREAN, Chinese and Spanish-speaking workers are routinely paid below minimum wage as part of a "seedy underbelly of wage theft”, Unions NSW claims.

An audit of 200 job ads in 2016 and 2017 - on Korean language website Hojunara, Chinese website Sydney Today and Spanish-language Facebook pages - found nearly 78% advertising below the minimum award wage.

They included a kitchen aid at a Korean restaurant in the Sydney suburb of Strathfield paying $13 an hour, a position advertised in Chinese for warehouse work in the suburb of Smithfield paying $16 an hour, and a position advertised in Spanish for a cleaner paying $15-$20 an hour.

"This is wage theft on a massive scale. And it's being perpetrated against people ill-equipped to fight back,” Unions NSW Secretary Mark Morey said in a statement.

"Often migrant workers are threatened or must consider how a complaint will affect their visa or residency status.”

The report said 100% of jobs advertised in Mandarin and Cantonese were below award.

Hospitality was the worst offender, with the average rate of pay advertised at $13.60 an hour, compared with the award rate of $18.29 an hour.

Unions NSW says it will use the report findings to push for greater right-of-entry powers at the upcoming NSW Labor conference.

"Our research finds that some employers believe they can offer a 'Korean', 'Chinese' or 'Spanish' rate of pay,” Mr Morey said. - Frank Chung



Fury at Minister's silence over subbies' cries for help

Fury at Minister's silence over subbies' cries for help

Minister's silence after offers of help angers unpaid subbies.

'This incident caused great concern': Commission boss

'This incident caused great concern': Commission boss

Investigations continue into violent arrest of 16-year-old

Desperate, sick criminals fall through cracks

Desperate, sick criminals fall through cracks

Justice, health systems fail those who need support, says magistrate

Local Partners