ANU must take action over Woroni investigation into wage-theft on campus

The ANU administration must audit and report businesses located on their campus who steal wages from workers, said UnionsACT today.

An investigation by ANU student newspaper Woroni uncovered serious and long-term wage-theft by the franchisee of Sumo Salad locating on the university campus.

  • Forty percent of businesses in Canberra break one or more of the Fair Work Act laws on wages, superannuation, pay slips and workers’ rights, according to the Fair Work Ombudsman.
  • Research from Industry Super Australia shows that each year 45,000 Canberrans have an average of $3,400 of their superannuation stolen by employers through underpayments and non-payment.
  • UnionsACT research has shown that almost eight in ten young workers aged under 25 had experienced wage-theft in the past 12 months.

Failures by regulators at a Federal and ACT level have contributed to a culture where adult employers can exploit and steal from young workers without consequence.

The ANU administration has previously declined to take action against the illegal behaviour of businesses who lease space on ANU property.

The following quotes are attributable to Alex White, secretary of UnionsACT:

“The ANU administration has a moral responsibility to take action and ensure that none of the businesses operating on its campus, who ANU takes money from, who employ ANU students, are breaking the law.

“It is unacceptable that adult employers take advantage of young workers and international students.

It is even more unacceptable that the ANU administration turns a willful blind eye to the illegality and theft taking place on its property.

“Woroni should be congratulated for exposing serious and long-term wage-theft.

“Any student who believes they have been the victim of wage theft should contact UnionsACT immediately.”