Company fined for exploiting migrant workersDave Griffith
Auckland company Shynday Kitchen and bathroom have been found guilty of exploiting migrant workers and ordered to pay compensation totalling $23,065. The Employment Relations Authority (ERA) found that the Shynday factory breached good-faith obligations when it dismissed two Chinese employees.
Following and anonymous complaint a labour inspector visited the factory on 11th April this year and spoke to the two employees, Ming Mao and Guoqiang Sun.
Sun claimed the factory manager, Wenjiang Xu, looked at him threateningly when he was speaking to the inspector, and he felt intimidated. Mao was told not to come to work the next day after he was seen speaking to the inspector.
After the incident, both men were given employment agreements and asked to sign them immediately. Neither wanted to sign as the agreement said they would be “casual employees with no set or minimum work hours”.
It also included a 90-day trial period, despite Mao having been employed for more than a year and Sun for more than six months. Both men said they felt vulnerable as they were migrant workers, and signed under duress.
They were later given employment termination agreements. They were told they would not receive their wages unless they signed. Shynday said the men were made redundant because the business was in serious financial difficulty and had to reduce costs immediately. However, it continued to hire workers and ask existing staff to work extra hours.
The ERA found that Shynday did not follow a fair or proper process before it dismissed the men. They were given letters in English, in which they were not fluent, and had no opportunity to take advice or be accompanied at the meeting by a representative or support person.
“How Shynday acted and its actions were not what a fair and reasonable employer could have done in all the circumstances,” authority member Rachel Larmer said.
Shynday was ordered to pay costs to both men to cover lost remuneration, distress compensation and legal costs. The total costs were $23,065.
Sun found new employment in May but Mao has had trouble finding new employment.
Migrants exploiting migrants again. The facts speak for themselves . A-Grade scumbags who take advantage of vulnerable people for profit.