Investigating 7-Eleven: Who are the real bad guys?

Michael Fraser

Abstract


The illegal wage scandal at 7-Eleven Australia made national headlines in 2015 where it was revealed that foreign workers were being underpaid and exploited. I spent three years investigating this misconduct and along the way accumulated a unique insight into those who carried out exploitative practices and those it affected. This personal narrative discusses the challenges faced by workers and how these challenges, fears and barriers were overcome. While workers often speak of being subjected to threatening behaviour, also explored is the experiences of current and former Franchisees, including the bullying, intimidation and racial discrimination delivered at the hands of Head Office. Why would otherwise good people go to great lengths to engage in exploitative practices and how did mass underpayment happen to tens of thousands of foreign workers for so long without it becoming public knowledge? These questions form the basis of this personal narrative.


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