Student exploitation continues

A Chinese international student has been viscously assaulted after confronting an employer who allegedly refused to pay her. Despite the billions of dollars international students pay in Australian tuition fees, they have virtually no protection against workplace exploitation.

3 February 2020 | Erin Chew, Asian Australian Alliance

A shocking video has circulated across social media and news outlets showing a female Chinese international student getting punched in the face and kicked in the stomach at her place of employment by a man, alleged to be a friend of the store’s manager, after she made enquiries about her unpaid salary. This all took place at the “Fun Tea” shop in Adelaide’s Chinatown.

If you listen to the dialogue, the manager of Fun Tea appears to refuse to pay the student for trial shifts she did, when a man, identified in report by 7 News Adelaide as local businessman Gavin Guo, appears to have punched the female student in the face and then kicked her in the stomach and sent her flying to the ground. Another young woman steps in to defend the victim and gets punched, falls into the table.

The 7 News report states Guo left the scene before police arrived and the network’s reporter was unable to contact him at his home in the southern Adelaide suburb of Glen Osmond.

Late last night, South Australian police released a statement that “A Glen Osmond man has been arrested after he allegedly assaulted a woman at a Gouger Street business last Friday night. Police will allege the 39-year-old man, assaulted a woman at a Gouger Street business on Friday 29 January, by striking the woman in the face and kicking her in the stomach.

“The victim of the assault, a 20-year-old Adelaide woman was treated by paramedics at the scene on the night, before being transported to the Royal Adelaide Hospital for treatment.”

According to Eastern District police the man has been charged with assault and has been bailed to appear in the Adelaide Magistrates Court on 7 May. The police investigation is continuing.

What is most saddening is that the exploitation of international students is very common in Australia and it is usually those from the same cultural group/community doing the exploitation. Within the Asian Australian community this is a serious situation where fellow Asians are bullying and exploiting Asian international students.

Of course, I don’t make this statement lightly, nor is this a reflection of all Asian Australian businesses who are law abiding, but it is places like this “Fun Tea” store and other companies who have been found guilty of exploiting Asian international students which give the rest of us Asian Australians a bad name.

As for the alleged perpetrator? Well, send his ass to jail please – beating up vulnerable students who are just asking for their pay is not being aggressive. Also, let’s not forget that manager in the video who was bullying the students and refusing to to pay her – he needs to be shut down and prosecuted for breaching workplace laws.

This article is republished from Being Asian Australian Erin Wen Ai Chew is founder of the Asian Australian Alliance.