July 7, 2008
AN INTERNATIONAL student who was paid just $1.26 an hour for more than 150 hours work as a security guard at the Australian Open tennis is suing several companies for being treated like a “slave”.
Pakistani student Faisal Durrani, 23, who wants to become a permanent resident, said he was aware of at least another four security guards from the subcontinent who had only received a small payment for their work at the Open. “I believe there are a lot more,” he said.
It is the latest alleged incident to involve the mistreatment of workers from the subcontinent after the mass taxi driver protest in early May over unsafe work conditions.
Mr Durrani’s statement of claim, lodged at the Melbourne Magistrates Court, alleges that he was paid $200 for the 158 hours he had worked at the Australian Open. “To me it was an act of slavery, we have been treated like slaves,” he said.
His solicitor, Andrew Weinmann of Maurice Blackburn, described the case as “outrageous” for a number of reasons.
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