Three greedy pharmacy operators have been penalised $45,000 for stealing 93 weeks of wages from a migrant worker.
Nader Bastawrose, Amgad Samaan and Ashraf Youssef operate a number of ‘Save and Deliver’ pharmacies in Sydney.
Greedy pharmacy operators rip off driver
The employee assisted in the pharmacies and worked as a driver, transferring supplies between stores in addition to delivering medication to customers.
The pharmacy operators paid the driver illegal flat rates as low as $12 and $14 an hour.
The award stipulates between $16 and $43, depending on shifts.
The underpayments totaled $52,010 – the equivalent of 93 weeks wages.
Fair Work Ombudsman inspectors also found the employers underpaid a second pharmacy assistant $5,296.
Bastawrose, Samaan and Youssef additionally failed to provide pay slip and keep proper records.
Employee forced to work on sick days
The driver told the court that he worked four days a week for 10 to 12 hours a day, without taking any breaks.
He even worked on days when he was sick, because he wouldn’t earn any income if he took a day off.
Youssef once threatened the driver with dismissal if he told anyone about the wage theft.
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Greedy pharmacy operators previously caught underpaying workers
Previously, the Fair Work Ombudsman had warned Bastawrose, Samaan and Youssef about paying proper wages and entitlements.
The warning came after inspectors investigated wage theft complaints from three other pharmacy workers.
Meanwhile, industrial advocate Miles Heffernan described the case as “an appalling example of exploitation of a vulnerable worker”.
“This is a blatant case of deliberate wage theft, so these three employers should be facing criminal charges for stealing,” he said.
“It shows why we need criminal sanctions for wage theft.
“Until governments change the law, greedy employers like these three will continue to steal wages from their workers.”
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