Media release

5 October 2011

$679,000 back-pay for 180 underpaid Japanese restaurant staff

A restaurant operator in Sydney is reimbursing 180 employees a total of $679,000 after it was discovered they were being underpaid.

Chatswood-man Sadamatsu Katsuyoshi is making the back-payments following intervention by the Fair Work Ombudsman.

The underpayments comprised:

  • $301,943 owed to 82 employees at Masuya Japanese Seafood Restaurant on O’Connell Street,
  • $162,075 owed to 39 employees at Dining Bar Musashi on Pitt Street,
  • $131,260 owed to 32 employees at Sushi Bar Makoto on Liverpool Street, and
  • $83,913 owed to 27 employees at Sushi Bar Makoto on Victoria Avenue, Chatswood.

The underpayments occurred in 2008-09 as a result of the employees being paid according to collective agreements that were later found to be invalid because they contained inadequate pay rates.

Mr Sadamatsu owned the restaurants with members of his family at the time. They have since sold Sushi Bar Makoto on Liverpool Street and Dining Bar Musashi on Pitt Street and no longer have any involvement with those two restaurants.

As part of an Enforceable Undertaking with the Fair Work Ombudsman, Mr Sadamatsu has agreed to apologise to the underpaid employees, undertake workplace relations compliance training, report on systems he has developed to ensure future compliance with workplace laws and report on his employment details for the next three years to illustrate he is complying with workplace laws.

Information on the Fair Work Ombudsman’s website - www.fairwork.gov.au - is translated into 27 different languages.

In addition, 13 short videos presented by native speakers have been posted at www.youtube.com/fairworkgovau External link icon to assist foreign workers, including international students.

An ‘Industries’ section on the website provides extra, specialised information for employers and employees in the retail, cleaning, clerical, hair and beauty, security, horticulture, fast food and hospitality industries.

Employers or employees seeking free advice or assistance can also contact the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94.

A free interpreter service is available by calling 13 14 50.

Copy of undertaking:
Enforceable Undertaking O’Connell Trading Pty Ltd (pdf 1.45MB) pdf icon
Enforceable Undertaking Cnr Campbell Trading Pty Ltd (pdf 1.42MB) pdf icon
Enforceable Undertaking Victoria Ave Trading Pty Ltd (pdf 1.41MB) pdf icon
Enforceable Undertaking Cnr Pitt Trading Pty Ltd (pdf 1.40MB) pdf icon

Media inquiries:

Cameron Jackson, Media Adviser, Media and Stakeholder Relations
0457 924 146 
cameron.jackson@fwo.gov.au

Ryan Pedler, Senior Adviser, Media & Stakeholder Relations
(03) 9954 2561, 0411 430 902
ryan.pedler@fwo.gov.au

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Page last updated: 05 Oct 2011