7-Eleven chairman and CEO resign amid employee exploitation scandal

7-Eleven chairman and CEO resign amid employee exploitation scandal

7-Eleven chairman Russ Withers and CEO Warren Wilmot have both resigned from the company’s board, in the wake of the recent worker exploitation scandal.

The franchise giant was found to be drastically exploiting foreign workers at over 300 of the chain’s stores in a recent ABC/Fairfax media investigation.

“Mr Wilmot offered his resignation following the recent realisation of the extent to which 7-Eleven franchisees had underpaid workers,” the company said in a statement this afternoon.

“Mr Wilmot acknowledged it would be difficult for him to play a central role in navigating the company through the current challenges it faces given his long-standing executive role and that a new independent CEO was appropriate in the current circumstances.”

According to many witnesses who gave evidence to the media investigation, staff most who were foreigners, were being forced to work in contravention of their visa conditions.

A Senate inquiry into Australia’s temporary work visa program has also found the underpaying of staff in the convenience store chain was systemic and had been happening for decades.

Meanwhile international students who worked at 7-Elevens say they were only paid half their minimum wage and were threatened with deportation if they reported it.

7-Eleven has appointed Michael Smith as its new chairman with a mandate to fix the problem and repair the companies damaged reputation.

Mr Smith, who has been on the 7-eleven board since 1999, says he has been horrified by the extent of the wage fraud and exploitation of workers.

An independent investigation into the franchise is underway.

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Amy Whittaker
Amy Whittaker 1402 posts

Amy joined the NRN team in August 2011, before graduating from a B of Arts (Communication-Journalism)/B of Sports Studies from Charles Sturt University in December 2011.

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