A number of Canberra businesses, especially Zeffirelli’s have been having a very bad trot in the media lately. A new member of the RiotACT family, cerruti, has chosen to publish a lengthy response as a long term employee of Zeff’s which I think is worth a look.
While the Chamber of Commerce wouldn’t be my own first choice of an independent arbiter I’ve decided the issues raised in the comment are worthy of a story of their own. What are your thoughts on the subject?
Ok. Let me just start off by saying that i started working at Zeffirelli 8 years ago and I have always been treated very well and with respect just as if i was part of the family that owns it. You can go past either the Dickson or Belconnen store tonight, ask any of the staff there how they are treated and whether or not they are being paid properly and i can guarantee you that not one of them will have a complaint. Now as for the Filipino workers, I was working on the day these guys arrived in Canberra, they were all at the restaurant sitting at a table with the boss and his wife. They were all fed steaks, wine, desserts all free of charge, the boss even cracked open champagne to welcome them to Australia. They started work the next day. I would personally pick them up from home and take them to work While they were working they would eat and drink anything they wanted free of charge. All the staff at both restaurants were well aware that these people had travelled a long way into a foreign country and we all welcomed them and treated them well. These guys were provided by the boss with accomodation, beds, furniture, a fridge a washing machine toiletries plates cutlery , basically everything they needed to get started he even gave them each $100 cash for anything else they might need.
Now these guys were all hired under the impression that they were all qualified chefs. Let me tell you that 4 of the 6 that came were very good at what they did. 2 of them however had difficulty even peeling a potato. These guys had absolutely no idea how to cook and used us to get into Australia. From what i understand the boss had every right to send them home and was just about to. They found out they they were gonna get sent packing and decided that they would prefer to stay in Australia rather than be sent back to the conditions that they were living in back in the Phillipines. So they went to the union. Now the unions were in a position that they were just about to be rendered obsolete by these new IR laws so they decided to take the bull by the horns and turn Zeffirelli and all the other restaurants into scapegoats. THEY contacted (the otherwise unknown) Sen Kate Lundy so she could put her 5 cents in and finally make a name for herself. THEY contacted win news and made allegations of racial villification and harassment which is all a load of crap! (half the people that work there both in the kitchen and on the floor are of different ethnic backgrounds)and that one of the filipinoâ€™s was refused medical treatment after suffering a burn (When i personally put ice and cream and bandages on the wound and offered to take her to hospital myself!!).
As for being underpaid, the Chamber of commerce conducted an audit and found that 2 of the six filipino workers were in fact underpaid the amount of $4.50 per week due to a technical oversight in the office.
As for you dragcity_cowgirl I think youâ€™ve been watching too much sopranos. I have personally paid over $2500 in parking fines just in Dickson alone and the bossâ€™s sons have had many more parking fines there than i have.
Anyway I hope this opens a few peoples eyes and they realise that not everything portrayed in the news is accurate and that there is always two sides to every story.