Min's story - Migrant Workers Centre Skip navigation

Min's story

A group of 5 workers have recovered $118,425.05 in stolen wages with the support of the Migrant Workers Centre after the food manufacturing business they worked for closed down without warning in November 2022.

Min* is in her 60s and came to Australia from China in 2006. She had worked packing food for this manufacturer for the 16 years since she arrived. She was employed on a full-time ongoing basis and had the assumption of stability and security.

When the business closed down in late 2022, Min and her co-workers were given no warning. Despite over a decade of dedicated work, Min did not receive any notice period or redundancy pay and the employer also withheld outstanding superannuation, long service leave and annual leave.

Min and four co-workers, who had all worked for the company for between 6 - 16 years, knew they were being treated unfairly and came to the Migrant Workers Centre for advice. MWC organisers assisted the workers with calculating the total amount of unpaid wages and entitlements they were owed. During this process, we reviewed their industry award with the workers and uncovered their employer had also been withholding their wages. Their payslips showed they were working at a flat rate of $21.5 per hour for 38 hours a week. They were in fact working 50 hours a week with no overtime.

The possibility of reclaiming the unpaid entitlements in this case hinged on the fact that the business had not been liquidated but simply closed down. All too often, migrant workers at liquidated companies never see their stolen wages and entitlements due to being excluded from the Fair Entitlements Guarantee. This gave this case a sense of urgency as the workers raced to make their demands in case the employer liquidated the company.

After lengthy negotiations with the employer, the workers so far successfully reclaimed $118,425.05 in unpaid entitlements. However, they’re continuing their fight for justice for the remaining stolen wages.

*Name has been changed

Continue Reading

Read More

Sign up and help create a fairer society for migrant workers and temporary visa holders.