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Kate Lundy names two more restaurants exploiting foreign workers

By johnboy - 8 February 2006 26

In an MPI debate this afternoon in the Senate, Kate Lundy has named another two Canberra Restaurants (in additition to the Holy Grail) accused of exploiting foreign workers.

The other two establishments involved in the specific complaints brought to my attention are Zeffirelli’s pizza restaurant of Belconnen and Dickson and the Milk and Honey restaurant in Civic.

UPDATE: The ABC has the story, as does the Canberra Times.

What’s Your opinion?

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26 Responses to
Kate Lundy names two more restaurants exploiting foreign workers
Big Al 11:32 am 09 Feb 06

I suspect you’re right simto – my recollection of the case is hazy at best.

If truth is now a defence then I suspect that Lundy may well be safe to repeat her words outside of the chamber – given that what she really said was along the lines of ‘ these establishments are being investigated for expoliting migrant workers, and I’ve met with them and they told me they were being exploited and so on – all kind of factual really – seeing as the the old test based on ‘public interest’ has been despensed with.

simto 11:08 am 09 Feb 06

Channel 7 wasn’t running a story that he was gay (Marsden’s quite prepared to say he’s gay to practically anynoe), they were running a story that he’s a paedophile. They are two fairly different things, people!

johnboy 10:57 am 09 Feb 06

There has been a change, and truth is now a defence


Big Al 10:52 am 09 Feb 06

“If Lundy has balls and evidence, she would repeat the claims outside the Chamber and subject herself to the defamation laws.”
Unfortunately, unless things have changed in the way defamation law works – having the ‘evidence’ wont necessarily do you any good. It is not a defence against defamation to simply demonstrate that what you say is true – in fact the plaintiff can agree with everything you say and still sue you and win – I think that it was a case involving prominent Sydney barrister John Marsden and Channel 7 that set that precedent. If I recall correctly (but don’t hold me to it), Seven ran a story about Marsden being gay – he sued them and won despite being well known in Sydney circles as an ‘out’ homosexual and admitting it several times publicly during the proceedings.
I also fail to see how using a legitimate power as an elected official can somehow be interpreted as ‘abuse’ – the protected privilege offered by the Chamber is there for precisely these reasons – of course there’ll always be a long queue of shit-bags lining up to bleat on and on about how wrong it is to actually use that power – but that’s simply because they have an ideological or vested interest in keeping that sort of information away from the electorate.

erewego 9:56 am 09 Feb 06

ssorry ssanta, were you ssugesting sstamping feet as an alternative to sseeking wages owed? or were u just having a bit of a foot stamp yourself?

bonfire 9:48 am 09 Feb 06

are these exploited workers on sponsored visas ie sponsored by the establishments allegedly exploiting them ?

if so, they cant just quit and move to another job in oz, they have to return home.

kingmaker 9:46 am 09 Feb 06

The local Chamber of Commerce is reporting that after an investigation by DEWR, claims against Zefferelli for under-award wages have proven to be almost entirely false – the error was with the union which was seeking to impose an incorrect award.

Will Senator Lundy apologise to the restaurants concerned if they are cleared of wrongdoing? Will it already be too late as she will have destroyed their names and reputation?

If Lundy has balls and evidence, she would repeat the claims outside the Chamber and subject herself to the defamation laws.

johnboy 9:32 am 09 Feb 06

bit hard for the immigrant workers though ssanta, which is the issue.

ssanta 9:21 am 09 Feb 06


If you are not happy with your job, may I suggest that you find a better one, like everyone other Aussie who cracks the shits after being screwed around. Perhaps rather than naming and shaming, other solutions ought be provided rather than stamping your foot like a petchalent child.

Kerces 4:25 pm 08 Feb 06

From your reporter in the House:

ACT Senator Kate Lundy has today “named and shamed” three Canberra restaurants who have been exploiting skilled migrant workers. She said this was the best chance of bringing justice to those who have been misused and will remind employers that they cannot get away with human rights abuse.

Dave Bibo of the Liquor, Hospitality and Miscellaneous Union, which is representing the three people in their claims to the Office of Workplace Services, said that three months after they approached the LHMU, the underpayment of wages and gross abuses continue.

Senator Lundy said some of the employers in question had contacted the union after initial publicity that she was going to name names.

In a press conference in the Senate Courtyard, Senator Lundy named both the Holy Grail and Zeffirelli as two of the three restaurants which has breached both human rights and the law in regard to their employees. She went on to say both these restaurants have shown goodwill and that she was optimistic the negotiations and discussions would continue.

“These people were brought here to fill a skills shortage that we have and the government has a responsibility to them to see the laws are adhered to,” she said. “This is a poor reflection on the way migrant workers are welcomed to Australia.”

When asked if she thought there was a danger in using her parliamentary privilege to name those involved before the Human Rights Commission report came out, Senator Lundy said she saw no danger.

“These three people are personally known to me and I have heard their stories,” she said.

“I have named and shamed these places to bring it to the public’s attnetion.”

She said it was up to people to make their own decision whether to boycott the Holy Grail, Zeffirelli’s and Milk and Honey, but that she certainly would not be rushing down to the politician’s haunt tonight for a drink.

lucie_123 4:10 pm 08 Feb 06

Hmm, I don’t think I’ve ever heard of ‘harmless exploitation’ before. Interesting.

By the way, it wasn’t an abuse of parliamentary privilege. This is precisely the kind of situation for which the privilege system was set up.

Absent Diane 4:01 pm 08 Feb 06

You don’t need to work hard to get a good job.. you just gotta be good in the brains…… but yes exploitation does have a funny side

jr 3:51 pm 08 Feb 06

It will be interesting to see if these organisations are actually charged with any offences… I thought we lived in a society where ones innocence was maintained until proven guilty.

Lundy simply proved herself to be both spineless and gutless by the way she just abused Parliamentary priviledge.

Big Al 3:46 pm 08 Feb 06

Well that might go some way to explaining how Zeffirelli’s can sell half-decent pizzas for the price that they do. It might also explain why they have iced the new restaurant in Kingston (where the Tang Dynasty used to be) – that was supposed to open in January but recently work on the refurbishment there has stopped and now even the Zeffirelli’s signs have been removed. Shame, really – I used to enjoy going to Zeff’s for pizza and beers, but the whole migrant worker exploitation thing kind of leaves a bad taste – so too speak.

Not that I have a problem with exploiting hospitality workers in general – I think they deserve a bit of harmless exploitation really – it’ll teach them for not trying hard enough at school and getting better marks so they could have a proper job.

kimba 3:45 pm 08 Feb 06

She’s gutless for not naming these restaurants in the public arena.

I heard her giggling interview on 2CC this morning – it was weird….she was weird.

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