Media Release

4 May 2018

The former operator of three sushi outlets in Newcastle is facing legal action, in another case of alleged wage theft that could have been prevented by stronger State laws.

The operator of ‘Sushi Revolution’, which had outlets in Waratah, Hamilton and Cooks Hill, is facing legal action for underpaying four overseas workers more than $33,000.

It is alleged the four employees were underpaid a total of $33,226 over a period of nine months from January to September 2016.

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 Member for Newcastle, Tim Crakanthorp:
“This is sadly another Newcastle establishment that has underpaid its workers, with the Steel Street Fish Market employers at two outlets being fined less than twelve months ago, after the employees sought help.”

“Vulnerable 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 your staff or face the consequences!”