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Young Workers Centre YWC
News from young workers

Naughty or nice?

Find out which list your favourite venues made this year!

Exploitative bosses have been in abundance this year, but the great thing is that they can no longer hide! Our activists have been calling out dodgy bosses all year – here’s a roundup of our Wage Theft Naughty or Nice List for 2018.

The Nice List:

  • Finders Keepers café: The folks at Finders Keepers café made headlines this year, for all the right reasons! Owners, Sean Minter and Kirsten Baker, wrote about how there’s no excuse for wage theft. They even spruiked to ensure punters know how staff at their favourite cafes are really being treated.

The Naughty (dodgy bosses!) List:

  • Degraves Street: This year our activists have been out in force, blitzing Melbourne laneways and making sure workers know about their rights. Raids by Fair Work inspectors have finally exposed what we already knew: wage theft is rampant on Degraves Street.
  • Burger Buzz: Notorious wage thief, Todd Buzza, copped penalties totalling more than $300,000. We took this opportunity to call for more than just fines, we want wage theft to be a crime and jail time is the only way to deter dodgy bosses!
  • Vue de monde: Celebrity chef, Shannon Bennett, thought he could get away with overworking and underpaying his workers, they proved him wrong.
  • Pressed Juices: With activist led actions galore, young workers took to the streets to demand Leo Pegoli pay up, they even made The Project!
  • ENA Greek restaurant: These guys proved to us that if you’re getting paid cash in hand, something’s not right!
  • Burch and Purchese: It’s great to see bullying bossed being called out, young workers deserve respect and that’s exactly what they demanded this year.
  • Bar Americano: According to the owner of one of Melbourne’s “Best Cocktail” bars, apparently penalty rates don’t exist in Victoria anymore, we guess he didn’t count on young workers speaking up and telling the truth about the law.
  • Hairy Little Sista: Young workers shouldn’t have to engage in a constant battle just to be paid on time for the work they’ve done, so they rallied together and held multiple protests out front of Hairy Little Sista demanding they pay up.
  • Dinner by Heston: Rounding out the list, we have our most high profile wage thief, Heston Blumenthal, truly showing the nerve of bad bosses who think they can get away with wage theft, but we’ve got a message for you – not for long!

Despite all these bad bosses, the best Christmas present any young worker could ask for has come early: wage theft is set to become a crime in Victoria!

This year, young workers in the fast food, restaurant and café sector have been standing up and fighting back against exploitation, we’ve shone a light on a bunch of Melbourne bosses through getting together with our workmates. These dodgy bosses thought they could get away with exploiting young workers but we’ve made a list, checked it twice, and will keep naming and shaming bad bosses in the New Year – will you join us to continue the fight?

For more info on which hospo venues are treating their people with respect, check out!