In early March UNITE launched a new attack on convenience store chain 7-Eleven. This was prompted by Geelong store owner, Eddie Chan, telling workers that if they wanted security guards present on Saturday nights they would have to pay for it out of their own wages!
After the store was forced by UNITE to increase the workers wages to an award rate of $15.85, the owner decided to try to cut costs elsewhere. After two days of embarrassing media attention and threats of union protests, the owner backed down.
UNITE labelled Chan “one of the worst bosses in the country” and said the issue was one of cost cutting but also a health and safety issue for the staff. The Workplace Ombudsman is currently investigating the employment practices at several 7-Eleven stores including the Geelong store owned by Chan.