On 15 August, ASF Melbourne North conducted a protest action at D.G. Expresso demanding the return of wages and tips stolen from 'Mo'.
Mo worked hard at their job and was very popular with customers. When Mo asked her employer about the tips jar, Mo was told it was 'company policy' to retain the tips on account of difficult 'business conditions'. Soon shifts were reduced before Mo was cut adrift.
ASF Melbourne North have presented D.G. Expresso with a letter of demand; return all stolen wages and tips, reinstatement with a guarantee of no retribution. The four-page response on the part of D.G.Expresso failed to address directly the issues raised in the letter of demand. Consequently, D.G.Expresso and ASF Melbourne North are in dispute. ASF Melbourne North remains resolved to acheive wage justice for its members.
ASF Melbourne North is calling on those who affirm the human right to be properly paid for labour provided to email D.G.Expresso directly with their concerns. A suggested template can be found below.
To: D.G[email protected] <[email protected]>
Subject: Wage theft is immoral and a crime!
"Dear Sir/Madam, It has come to our attention that D.G. Expresso has engaged in a pattern of worker wage theft by paying below the award rate scale. We stand in solidarity with Mo in their efforts to regain their $ 8,367.40 in stolen wages. And an estimated $ 875.25 in stolen tips which management refuse to distribute to the staff for whom customers intended them. Additionally, we protest D.G. Expresso's history of hiring vulnerable young people through a government-run, tax- payer-funded subsidized-wage program, and then displacing those employees after the 6-month wage subsidy period has ended, arbitrarily cutting their shifts and bullying them into leaving, so that it can hire new employees through the same program, despite this practice violating the terms of the wage subsidy contract.
Do the right thing: Wage theft is immoral and a crime!
Rehire and pay Mo! Pay the workers their due pay and tips!"
The solidarity of the working people with each other is the way to achieve wage justice and the foundation upon which the new unions of the future will be built. ASF Melbourne North acknowledges the support of rank and file UWU members who joined the protest action.