In late May over 25 members and supporters of the Sydney Solidarity Network turned out to support Josie, a worker in Marrickville, as she demanded backpay from her former employer.
Josie had worked for SaveMore, a company which owns a grocery store and a pharmacy in Marrickville. She worked a ‘trial shift’ and then a second shift there in January and February this year, but was not paid for either shift. Despite Josie repeatedly requesting payment, via letters, phone calls and enquiries through her job provider, SaveMore refused to pay for either shift.
So, after months of being ignored, Josie decided enough was enough. With the support of dozens of SydSol members and supporters, Josie confronted SaveMore’s owner, My Trang Nguyen, and presented a letter demanding what was legally hers – wages for the hours that she had worked. If SaveMore did not pay up within two weeks, we promised to return to leaflet passers-by and potential customers to let them know about SaveMore’s shady employment practices.
For several days afterwards SaveMore lied that Josie had never worked for them. Then they agreed that she had, but tried to talk her into accepting less than the minimum wage. Then, when it was clear that Josie wasn’t backing down, they paid up at the minimum wage for a casual pharmacy assistant of $22.48 per hour for four of the seven hours Josie had worked. Although not the full amount, it’s close enough that we’re satisfied and consider it a victory!
Illegal practices like wage-theft and below minimum wage payment are unfortunately very common in the inner-west. However, SydSol has shown that with a bit of organisation it’s possible to get what you’re owed! If you’re being ripped off, contact us today and let’s fight to win.