To: Fairwork Ombudsman

Time For Fairwork To Take A Seat At The Table

Time again, Fairwork have proved themselves to be an in effective mechanism in an already broken system. Countless individuals have and continue to come forward to express their dismay at their handling of serious incidents of wage theft and of the general rot that continues to spread in the contemporary Australian workplace.

In May 2019 after a successful petition, the FWO launched an investigation into the La La Bar Group. In July 2019 6 venues on Chapel St run by this group were raided by the watchdog but workers have heard nothing since.

I have tried, personally and on countless occasions, including having met with the FWO, to find out what is happening.

In my meeting with FWO, the officers not only joked about wage theft, but replied to my requests of an update on the investigation, by asking me "how long is a piece of string?"

Unfortunately, mine and the experiences of others whom worked for the La La Bar group, are not isolated.

We are calling on the FWO, to actually do its job, to not stand by, but to stand up and protect the rights of Aussie workers.

Why is this important?

Workers are still waiting for their money, and young workers can’t afford to wait any longer. As a second year law student, the financial pressure's I face due to the costs of my degree, would be be greatly relieved by receiving the money I am currently owed, only Fairwork has the power to make this happen.

This is yet another example of why wage theft laws are urgently needed - the current system is failing workers. If wage theft is going to be taken seriously then we need a Federal Liberal Government’s watchdog that will act in the best interests of Australian workers, and we need one that will act more swiftly than its current inactions demonstrate.

We need to send a strong and urgent message to the FWO, that enough is enough, that as public servants, their duty is to serve the Australian public and the Australian workforce, to not just sit in their comfortable office's and muse on the dire situation faced by myself and so many others. FWO needs to stand up and protect workers rights as much as wage theft needs to be made a criminal offence.