22 Dec 2013

Protests outside liquor shop over low wages

8:36 am on 22 December 2013

A protest has been held outside a South Auckland liquor shop, where it's alleged foreign student workers have been paid as little as $4 an hour.

The protest, which was organised by the Unite Union, attracted about 40 people outside the Papatoetoe branch of Super Liquor.

Spokesperson Joe Carolan says the low wages mean Indian students work at the Papatoetoe Super Liquor shop in excess of the 20 hours a week allowed under their visas, just to make ends meet.

Mr Carolan says it will be asking the company that owns the Super Liquor franchises to step in.

One of the workers at Saturday's protest, Navvivek Singh , says he was paid $475 for a working week which involved between 70 and 75 hours of work.

He said although $640 was deposited into his account, he was made to withdraw $165 and give it back to his boss.

Asked about the pay rates, co-owner of the Papatoetoe store, Roohi Gupta, referred Radio New Zealand to her lawyer, Frank Deliu.

Mr Deliu says the protest has been part of a pattern of harassment and he will be seeking a High Court injunction.

He says the proper place for an employment dispute is before the courts.