Not long after posting about our visit to the Hydro Majestic Hotel in the Blue Mountains (almost 2 weeks ago) a friend informed me of a scandal that centred around the hotel’s employment policies. It made the news nearly three years ago.
The scandal involved employing immigrants (from countries regarded as poor) on work visas and not even paying them the minimum wage. Yes this can easily happen – and in fact happens on a very large scale. I would encourage everyone to please read the articles (with links) below.
Now, I am no lawyer, and certainly not an expert in Australian employment laws. But I don’t need to be to know that this story is true. As the saying goes; ‘I have been around a bit.’
I know this very practice has been going on for years back in the UK. Through my work over the years, I have regularly had to find places to stay. In one example I stayed in a small hotel for months and so got to know not only some of the employees but the manager. The manager actually told me that the employees did not even receive minimum wage. They were housed in the hotel and the exact same thing happened as in the Hydro Majestic. In that case the employees were from Eastern Europe. The Eastern Europeans have probably moved on, no longer willing to be exploited. But you can bet such places now employ recent immigrants from the (so called) third world.
Even more recently I know of care homes in the UK who have lost local workers and replaced them with recent immigrants. The exact same thing is happening in those establishments. The workers get minimum wage but are housed in houses or caravans owned by the same person who owns the care home. It really is a scandal on an epic scale.
Foreign workers are being exploited while local people cannot find decent well paid employment. It is a classic double-edged sword. And the one thing that should unite every one of us is that wages are being driven down. But do you ever hear the unions talking about it? Or the so called ‘opposition’ party of the day? Hardly. If ever….
Newspaper Items on This Story….
The news items can be seen here and here. These are just two example from the Sydney Morning Herald. There will be plenty of other versions of the same news story and in other newspapers. Just do your own searches.
I enjoyed our visit to the Hydro Majestic but things like this do leave a bitter taste in the mouth. Maybe it was all resolved at this particular establishment? I don’t know. But as I point out above, this type of thing is rife. In every so called ‘first world’ country. Something to think about perhaps, when you visit a hotel or resort of any kind…