Pakistani students in Australia lead the battle against Caltex for wage fraud



4 minutes read

Australia-based Pakistanis have made some shocking revelations about the oil giant Caltex which is allegedly paying its workers a puny amount of $12 per hour, forcing them to sleep at the back of the store during shifts and threatened these immigrants deportation in the case of any complaint.

A major chunk of Caltex staff belongs to the subcontinent who have claimed that the officials asked them to lie about their wages to Fair Work Ombudsman during a federal investigation.

Workers have filed multiple complaints against the company as one of the company worker told FairFax how his manager asked him to keep his mouth shut.

My manager asked me, ‘don’t tell anyone my real rate’, said a current employee.

Another Pakistan student, Syed Aqeel said he only earned $12 per hour at the Caltex station in Adelaide and if a customer went away without paying then the workers were instructed to pay the amount, the company even cut the amount from the salary.

We stand there for eight-hour and ten-hour shifts and we are getting nothing, and if someone drives off, you have to pay out your whole shift money

A worker who remained anonymous out of fear of being fired revealed he was only paid $13 per hour. Caltex is paying a considerably small amount to its workers and it is way below the legal rate as well.

In Australia, the average rate is much higher than $12 or $13, the weekday part-time rate is $17.70 an hour, and $26.55 on weekends. The casual rate is $23.32 an hour, or $30.42 on weekends and public holidays.

Not only Caltex is not paying its workers their fair share but is also not providing any job security to them. Some workers while doing overnight shifts have been brutally victimized by alcoholics. Many have suffered while working however, Caltex does not even offer any medical allowance to the targeted workers.

Pakistanis who have witnessed this injustice demand that their voice should be heard and the parent company should take prompt action.

Caltex has refused to comply with any such allegations and a spokesperson clearly said that Caltex does not tolerate any unlawful activity neither carries out any discrimination with its workers.

The spokesperson also elaborated that it would surely terminate agreement with any franchise which is maligning the name of the parent company. The company has been auditing franchisees with ‘administrative anomalies’ over the last 12 months.

Five franchises of Caltex have already been removed because of deliberately underpaying the employees and not following the actual terms of the agreement.

Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) has been contacted by Caltex about the current investigations, Caltex made sure that FWO is briefed about all the audits and investigations being carried out by the company against the franchises.

With over 796 stores all over the world and 650 franchises, reports of such activities could inflict major damage to Caltex. In the near future, Caltex needs to ensure that not only it clears itself from all the allegations but promises full security to its international employees.