Degraves Street Venues Accused Of Paying Workers As Little As $11 An Hour

Not ok!

Five venues in a popular Melbourne city laneway are accused of underpaying workers.

The hospitality union will stage a protest on Monday, after it found half the venues in Degraves Street are paying employees as little as $11 an hour.

Hospo Voice says the venues have underpaid six workers $50,000 and its findings have been given to the employment watchdog to investigate.

Maggie Stecher-Keyland was underpaid by an estimated $18,619 in wages and superannuation at an iconic Degaves St cafe. Another staff member at the same cafe was deprived of $11,791.

A worker at a cupcake store was said to have lost out on $6900.

"There was zero respect, they made me feel so disposable," Ms Stecher-Keyland said.

"You just get used to it, because the majority of venues in the street are doing the same thing."

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Jess Walsh, Victorian Secretary of United Voice, said workers on the street were working eight hours straight without a break or food.

"It's hard to find a tourist brochure that doesn't include a photo of Degraves Street," she said.

"Yet little do the tourists who visit this famous laneway know that it's a meat-grinder that tears through hospitality workers, preying on the youngest and most vulnerable workers."

Hospo Voice has launched a petition calling for venues in the laneway, which is just minutes from Flinders Street Station, to be investigated.

The Fair Work Ombudsman and venues have been contacted for comment.