7-Eleven : You suck!

Stop the 7-Eleven rip-off : Protest this Thursday!

Protest 4.30pm – 6.00pm Thursday October 2nd outside the 7-Eleven store at 37 Swanston Street City (Corner of Swanston & Flinders Lane in the CBD).

As our last report explained UNITE had decided to put a halt on all actions against 7-Eleven while they considered signing a ‘Charter of Workplace Rights’ for their staff.

Unfortunately 7-Eleven Head Office have still not signed the Charter and do not seem serious about fixing the massive problems that exist in their franchises.

The facts are that to this day hundreds of 7-Eleven workers across Australia are being severely underpaid. Some are still being paid as little as $8 per hour! From UNITE’s point of view this is totally unacceptable.

Given 7-Eleven’s lack of co-operation we have now been forced to recommence our actions starting this Thursday. This week’s action will take place in the busy Melbourne CBD during peak period.

Our aim will be to let 7-Eleven customers, and the general public, know about the dodgy employment practices that 7-Eleven is engaged in. We expect to get our message out to thousands of people and encourage all of our supporters to attend.

UNITE Secretary Anthony Main said “It’s disappointing that 7-Eleven Head Office have refused to make a commitment to start sticking to the law.

“The ‘Charter of Workplace Rights’ that UNITE has asked 7-Eleven to sign only outlines what staff should be paid according to the law, nothing more, nothing less.

“I think it says a lot when you have a company that has sales in excess of $1 billion and won’t agree to pay minimum wages and conditions.

“We know that there is no support in society for such low wages and poor conditions. The actions are now back in full swing. They will happen regularly until 7-Eleven sign the Charter and fix the issues” Anthony said.

7-Eleven Stores Pty Ltd is wholly owned in Australia by the Withers and Barlow families. Its first store opened in Oakleigh in August 1977; its first CBD store in August 1996. It will soon open its 400th. Its current Chairman is Russ Withers. Its current CEO is Warren Wilmot, who assumed this role in 2002. Both obviously believe that $8 per hour is a fair and decent wage — 7-Eleven is Australia’s 20th-largest private company (in terms of turnover) with 370 franchised stores turning over $1.3 billion. The company has 230 direct corporate employees and 4500 franchise employees.

In a recent interview (‘How happy is your company?’, Human Resources Magazine, May 2008), Wilmot opined that ‘you shouldn’t just talk to providers about their surveys, but get to their other customers to find out how they use it. “You have to get a product you can trust. Make sure that what it is measuring and how you use it are linked to the strategy of your own company,” he says, adding that he likes to keep his survey questions as ‘vanilla’ as possible so the results can be benchmarked with external organisations.’ “Both my grandfather and father were fair and honest men,” reckons Chairman Russ Withers. “They taught me to play everything with a straight bat and to never be duplicitous. This is very important in the franchise relationship which is based on mutual trust. Our books are open to all franchisees.”

Both Russ and Warren are believed to be on salaries slightly in excess of $8 per hour.

“Have a question or suggestion for 7-Eleven? We’re interested in what you have to say!”

About @ndy

I live in Melbourne, Australia. I like anarchy. I don't like nazis. I enjoy eating pizza and drinking beer. I barrack for the greatest football team on Earth: Collingwood Magpies. The 2024 premiership's a cakewalk for the good old Collingwood.
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7 Responses to 7-Eleven : You suck!

  1. sparx says:

    so @ndy [et al] in slightly related news, i’m chasing anarchist [& anarchist-ish & interesting] writing on green-washing, astro-turfing, that type of corporate shenanaguns.

    any leads?

  2. @ndy says:

    The best source that I’m aware of is Sharon Beder. Also Alex Carey’s Taking the Risk Out of Democracy.

    Other sources include CorpWatch (useful links page too), Multinational Monitor and PublicEye.org.

    ‘Burke’s Backyard: the new face of greenwashing in Australia’, by Lauren Caulfield, is also interesting.

    “The greatest threat to the world’s environment is the conservation movement.” – Don Burke

    PS. Corporate Watch Australia.

  3. Miss P says:

    I receive the Unite mail outs and have been following this issue closely. I agree it is disgusting that workers are being paid below award rates. They charge high prices for their products yet cannot treat staff with dignity and respect.

    Perhaps a boycott is appropriate.

  4. @ndy says:

    Unite in New Zealand do good work too…

    They’re not lovin’ it
    November 5, 2008

    Unite Union members from twenty restaurants in Auckland and Hamilton took strike action and converged on the quarterly national conference of McDonald’s bosses at an Auckland hotel. They rallied outside Queen Street McDonald’s at noon before marching on the Hyatt Hotel to demand living wages and secure hours. A Guy Fawkes day effigy of Ronald McDonald was not burnt, the workers instead opting to send two representatives in to address the conference…

  5. Miss P says:

    This Union appears to be doing some very good work and they are using clever strategies to have their voices heard! The 7 /11 issue also had traction in the Melbourne media I recall reading something in The Age about it too.

    I didn’t know about the rally until Callan linked me to your piece last night so I missed it. Though I am quite serious about a boycott. I think that capitalists only ever really understand something when they are losing money. Even then they don’t necessarily understand it but they do want to make money thus they fix whatever it is that the consumer is unhappy about. Very simplistic I know.

  6. Dr. Cam says:

    Happy 7/11 day, everyone!

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