||Issue No. 258||08 April 2005|
Be My Guest
Interview: [email protected]
Unions: State of the Union
Industrial: Fashion Accessories
Legal: Leg Before Picket
Politics: Business Welfare Brats
Health: Cannabis Controversy
Economics: Debt, Deficit, Downturn
History: Politics In The Pubs
Review: Three Bob's Worth
Poetry: Do The Slowly Chokie
The Locker Room
Sweat Shop Taxes MLCís Patience
Workers Online reported in detail on claims that three seamstresses had been underpaid more than $80,000 over an 18-month period
Now, Goldbridge Clothing, situated at a private residence in Waratah Ave, Bexley, has been accused of dodging a string of other obligations, including tax and planning requirements.
Labor MLC, Ian West, told the NSW State Parliament, Goldbridge's own records revealed it was trading with a string of companies "that do not seem to exist".
He questioned invoices claiming payments of $70,000 to Jenny Ngo Fashions, $33,000 to Vu Clothing, $31,000 to Blue Rice Pty Ltd, $58,000 to Luu Henry Clothing and $51,000 to Hung Clothing.
"I am concerned that Goldbridge has not only broken laws in this state that protect workers and businesses but Goldbrdge has paid out more than $680,000 to various parties for 160,000 units of clothing," West said.
"Goldbridge would have had to receive more money than it paid out to remain in business.
"Goldbridge payments of GST on the amounts received was $46,000 or, at most, seven percent.
"In addition, Goldbridge's company statements about how much its workers earn are quite ludicrous. That is, of course, unless Goldbridge is evading other responsibilites."
Goldbridge has found a defender in Unity Party MLC, Peter Wong, who has criticised the TCFUA's raid on the sweat shop.
He wants Parliament to "condemn sweat shops" while restricting the ability of "industrial organisations" to identify them. He also wants it made illegal for the media to cover sweat shop busts.
Wong identified Goldbridge's operators as Chung Sheng Tan and Yan Hua Deng.
West ridiculed Wong's claim that the Rockdale Council had green-lighted use of their property as a clothing factory.
He told Parliament Goldbridge had operated legally, at Hurstville, until 2001 but, for the last four years, had "operated as an illegal clothing factory" at Bexley.
"This furphy creates even more issue for Goldbridge," West said.
He said Goldbridge had got an exemption under clause 21 of the Rockdale development control plan which sets out requirements for home occupation.
"The exemption states the occupation 'must be situated within the dwelling only and not in a garage, carport or ancillary structure or yard area,' he said.
"The DCP states that the work referred to must be carried out by 'permanent residents' of the home.
"Goldbridge has broken each of the clauses in Rockdale's DCP. Goldbridge Clothing proprietors must determine what they are doing. So must their supporters and barrackers."
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