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Liquor store owner ordered to pay over $211,000

Media Release (For immediate release)

Liquor store owner ordered to pay over $211,000

It was announced today that an Auckland liquor store owner has been ordered by the Employment Relations Authority to pay $211,574.00 in penalties and lost wages.

In February 2012, Max Whitehead of the Whitehead Group broke the story of six new immigrant liquor store workers who accused their employer of threatening behaviour and paying them just $2 to $4 per hour.

“They were being treated like slaves,” says Mr. Whitehead. “This is the worst case I have ever seen; however, there are plenty of other cases of employees being too frightened to complain about poor treatment in fear of being deported."

Mr. Whitehead says that the bottle-store owner is the most draconian, deprived employer he has come across during his 25 years in the business.

“It’s so satisfying to see this guy be taken out by our justice system. I just wish it hadn’t taken so long,” he says.

ENDS

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