When a group of cleaners – most of them foreign students - realised they were being underpaid, many of them weren’t confident they would be able to fight back.
Even so, the cleaners - employed by contract cleaning company Assetlink - decided to take matters into their own hands, band together and stand up for their rights.
After asking their union United Voice for help, the situation was investigated and a legal claim against their employer was launched.
The resulting response from Assetlink was quick and an agreement was reached, including the back-payment of money owed and new procedures to ensure similar situations don’t arise in the future.
The outcome was a significant win for the workers involved.
“This is a perfect day,” said Agnes Queiroz after receiving notification of her backpay. “I’m so very happy with the outcome.”
For Julio Sosa, who returns home at the end of this year, the money he’ll receive from the outcome will mean big things for him and his family.
“This represents a lot of things to me,” he said. “Coming to Australia, I had nothing. Going back home, I will be able to afford a house for my family.
“That means the world to me.”