Wage Theft Concerns Emerge Following Adelaide, Chinatown Brawl

February 23, 2021 Updated: February 23, 2021

A violent brawl in Adelaide’s Chinatown has sparked wider concerns over wage theft in migrant communities.

Disturbing footage emerged in early February showing the brawl at the Fun Tea Shop in Chinatown.

A 20-year-old woman was filmed in an argument with the owner, allegedly over a wage dispute. Soon after, 39-year-old Gavin Guo walked up to the woman, and after a few words, allegedly slapped the woman across the face.

Several of the woman’s friends and shop workers tried to break up the altercation, which saw shop furniture pushed aside.

Guo has since been arrested and charged with assault. He is currently on bail.

Since the video emerged, the bubble tea store has been broken into, and protesters have picketed outside the shop to demonstrate against migrant worker exploitation.

Additional footage later revealed that Guo had exchanged words with the woman earlier when she was working behind a counter. The woman left and came back later with other individuals, one of whom caught the incident on film. She has denied having anything to do with the video.

Protest organiser, Say Leng Kapsis, founder of Fair Go South Australia, told the ABC, “We need to try very hard to encourage them (migrant workers) to really stand up to speak out [about] their victim experience, and also encourage them to take any actions.”

Store owner Jason Duan told a Chinese YouTube blogger that he had every intention of paying her wages. However, he confirmed that he was paying $10 per hour, below the minimum wage.

The Home Affairs Department issued a statement to The Epoch Times saying it would not comment on individual cases. Still, it highlighted that all workers had the “same rights and protections” and encouraged foreign nationals to come forward with evidence of exploitation.