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NUS condemns “horrific” assault on international student worker

The union criticised the lack of resources surrounding workplace rights.

The National Union of Students (NUS) has condemned a recent attack on an international student worker at FunTea in Adelaide.

A video of the incident went viral on social media last week wherein a woman was seen slapped and verbally abused after making claims of wage theft. It sparked a protest outside the cafe on Thursday 4 February.

A man has since been arrested and charged with assault over the incident.

In the official statement made this morning, the NUS said that they “…[stand] in solidarity with this student, and International Student workers across the country who are faced with such abuse daily; their cases often not heard and believed if they have no video evidence to back them up.”

“International students in Australia face a barrage of malprotection in their workplaces. From most not being paid the award rate, to sexual harassment and workplace bullying, and unfair termination if and when they do speak out about their treatment.”

Claims of wage theft among international students are frequent, with Jackie Chen from the SA Labor Info Hub reporting that many students in their district were paid as low as $5 an hour. 

“Universities and Governments fail to adequately arm student workers with the resources they desperately need to navigate workplace issues,” the NUS continues, stating that Universities ought to present FairWork details and workers rights at international student orientations instead of “taking students on pub crawls and teaching them Australian slang.”

Honi reached out to Zoe Ranganathan, the president of the NUS, to inquire about the union’s efforts to prevent such incidents from happening. She did not respond in time for publication.