Media Release

11 May 2018

An employer at an abattoir in Scone has been penalised over the deliberate exploitation of migrant workers, in a case of worker abuse that could have been prevented by stronger State laws.

The former general manager of labour hire company Raying Holding Pty Ltd has been fined $43,000 for exploiting 10 migrant workers – two of whom had become Australian citizens.

The Scone workers were entry-level labourers in the abattoir’s slaughtering, boning and despatch operations and were underpaid a total of $41,674 between March 2011 and July 2013.

NSW Labor has again called for new wage theft laws to be aimed at employers who are getting away with flagrant abuses of the rights and entitlements of workers.

NSW Labor has committed to implementing stronger deterrents, as current penalties are not tough enough.

Labor has a five point plan to eliminate the exploitation of vulnerable workers and crack down on businesses that underpay their staff. It is as follows:

  • A new wage theft law to criminalise the deliberate failure to pay wages and entitlements;
  • New laws to hold head franchisors accountable for the actions of franchisees;
  • Widened powers for workplace inspectors to undertake wage audits;
  • A licensing scheme for labour hire companies, forcing them to comply with labour laws and ensuring they provide safe, fair and reasonable work conditions; and
  • New laws to protect Sunday penalty rates in all state awards and agreements.

Quotes attributable to Labor Leader in the Legislative Council and Shadow Minister for Industrial Relations, Adam Searle:

“It’s clear that the systematic exploitation of workers continues to impact employees all around the State.

“We need stronger laws and better enforcement, because there are still a number of unscrupulous employers that aren’t getting the message.

“NSW Labor will deliver a new wage theft law to criminalise the deliberate failure to pay wages and other entitlements.”

Quotes attributable to Country Labor’s Candidate for Upper Hunter Martin Rush:

“Vulnerable Upper Hunter workers are being cheated out of a staggering amount of wages by crooked bosses and it has to stop.

“A Labor Government would see dodgy employers pay correct wages and entitlements to staff or face the consequences.”