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Where are the hospo wage overpayments?

Crikey readers discuss wage theft, Iraq unrest, the Coalition and the need for comments sections.

wage theft hospitality worker kitchen hand barista penalty rates casual worker
(Image: Unsplash/Louis Hansel)

Crikey readers were unified in their reaction to calls from celebrity chefs for a wage theft “amnesty” in the face of “complicated” labour laws — if the laws are really so complex, why is it we only ever see the underpayment of wages? Elsewhere, readers discussed the value of comments sections, decried the state of the Coalition’s governance and addressed media and political silence on protests in Iraq.

On wage theft

Mick Donohoe writes: I find it amazing that employers who don’t know the correct wage for their employees never overpay them. I mean there should be an even split between under- and overpaying, but the law of averages fails again. It almost like it not an accident.

Ian Foster writes: I’d be a lot more sympathetic if we had as many instances of accidental, unintended wage overpayments.  I accept that chefs aren’t IR experts and they may have to hire-in extra management skills and stop hiding the real total costs of entrepreneurship. Why don’t they? Probably the same reason as the wage thefts — they want to keep their costs down.

On comments

Malcolm Harrison writes: The media lives in a bubble of its own making, and based on my previous experience reporting politics ’twas ever thus. But lately it seems to be getting worse. The primary function of media is to report, not to comment, but everywhere stories are being spun to seemingly fit an ideological narrative. Comments sections may be costly, and may be full of trolls, but at least they provide a balance to an increasingly rabid media that not only reports “facts”, but also tries to control their interpretation.

On the Coalition’s stagnant Australia

Frank Chalmers writes: The story you tell is so clear, why can’t the opposition tell it as well? Not a recent failure. Is it an ALP condition? Would the Coalition in opposition be equally inadequate? Was Abbott’s effectiveness in that role a special case? Is it the media’s fault? Is it structural, so accept it?

On silence on Iraq’s protests

Mark E Smith writes: The idea of independent ordinary citizens protesting in Iraq is hard to squeeze into the usual narratives about Iraq. It suggests that despite billions spent, millions killed, maimed or displaced things are no better for the average Iraqi than under Saddam. It suggests quite pointedly that our invasion wasn’t just illegal or an ordinary disaster but a completely counter-productive catastrophe.

Send your comments, corrections, clarifications and cock-ups to [email protected]. We reserve the right to edit comments for length and clarity. Please include your full name if you would like to be considered for publication.

Peter Fray

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