Unite, a group that seeks to organise casual workers in Victoria, has called on the federal government to give an amnesty to any past or present 7-Eleven workers who may have breached their international student visa conditions.
After ABC’s 4 Corners revealed the 7-Eleven half-pay scam the company was forced to launch its own independent investigation of the claims of underpayment. The Fair Work Ombudsman is also investigating the widespread underpayment of wages at 7-Eleven stores.
Unite secretary Anthony Main said: "We are calling on the Immigration Minister, Peter Dutton, to give amnesty to anyone who may have inadvertently breached the 20-hours a week work restriction rule.
"The vast bulk of people who have breached this rule did so under duress. They had to live while having half of their wages stolen from them.
"Unless these people are offered amnesty many will be reluctant to come forward and the full extent of this rip off will not come to light.
"The government has the responsibility to ensure that the truth comes out, especially given that the Fair Work Ombudsman has been very slow to act against 7-Eleven.
"We firmly believe that if amnesty is given and deportation is taken off the table thousands of people will come forward with claims of underpayment.”