The latest on the Filipino cooks…….wonder why Senator Kate didn’t mention this mob in Parliament but did others…..hmmm. Perhaps Harrington Corporation (Pangaea) are ALP supporters?
[Copy of media release below]
UPDATED: The Canberra Times has cribbed the media release.
MORE UPDATES: Senator Lundy has been having a whinge to the ABC about the timelines of the inquiry. Senator Humphries has followed suit by putting out a media release having a whinge about Kate’s whinge.
THE HON KEVIN ANDREWS MP
MINISTER FOR EMPLOYMENT AND WORKPLACE RELATIONS
MINISTER ASSISTING THE PRIME MINISTER FOR THE PUBLIC SERVICE
SENATOR AMANDA VANSTONE
MINISTER FOR IMMIGRATION AND MULTICULTURAL AFFAIRS
JOINT MEDIA RELEASE
Monday, 3rd April 2006
OWS TO PROSECUTE OVER ALLEGED UNDERPAYMENTS
TO FILIPINO WORKERS
The Australian Government does not tolerate the exploitation of overseas workers. All employees â€“ local and overseas â€“ must be employed in accordance with Australian standards and conditions of employment, including awards and agreements.
The Office of Workplace Services (OWS) has commenced proceedings against Harrington Corporation Pty Ltd, trading as Pangaea Bar and Restaurant, for alleged underpayment of some of its Filipino employees. OWS will be seeking penalties for breaches of the Liquor and Allied Industries Catering, CafÃ©, Restaurant, Etc (ACT) Award 1998 in the ACT Magistrates Court. The Court may impose a maximum penalty of $33,000 for each breach under the Workplace Relations Act 1996.
The OWS has also broadened its education and compliance campaign to over 40 ACT restaurants to ensure that employers are aware of their obligations, and that both overseas and local based workers are receiving their lawful entitlements. Breach notices have been issued by OWS to a number of employers in relation to both overseas and locally-based workers. Of these, only one employer has commenced action to voluntarily rectify the underpayment of both its overseas and locally based employees. OWS is still investigating the other non-compliant employers and it is highly possible that this may include the commencement of additional proceedings for alleged underpayment.
In keeping with the seriousness which the Australian Government views allegations of exploitation involving overseas workers, Senator Vanstone has advised â€œthe OWS has been working with the Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs (DIMA) in its investigations. DIMA has notified four Canberra restaurants of its intention to impose immigration sanctions. Action to cancel sponsorships and/or bar the restaurants from sponsoring other employees will be considered in light of the response of the restaurants concernedâ€.
As part of the WorkChoices reforms, the Australian Government has further strengthened workplace inspectorsâ€™ powers to investigate and enforce employeesâ€™ rights.
In addition to strengthening inspectorsâ€™ powers, the Australian Government has committed an additional $97 million in funding over the next four years to more than double the number of workplace inspectors to over 200 and provide additional advisory and education services to the public. This is the most significant boost in resources for employee protections ever undertaken by a government in Australia.
People wishing to make a claim can get assistance through the WorkChoices Infoline on 1300 363 264 or visit the OWS website at www.ows.gov.au