Business partners Lance Giles and Jordana Scott.
Business partners Lance Giles and Jordana Scott.

Youfoodz hit with new racism row

MEAL delivery giant Youfoodz has been accused of subjecting its migrant workers to a ­"culture of bullying, racism and extreme wage theft" and culturally motivated violence.

The United Workers Union has hit out at the food company, claiming the Brisbane-based food delivery service company is using "racial tactics to divide employees and keep migrant workers vulnerable".

Youfoodz has denied the claims, saying they respect their workers and are "proud to employ a multicultural workforce".

The claims come a week after Youfoodz founder Lance Giles and his partner Jordana Stott sparked controversy caught out making and posting culturally insensitive videos involving Asian people while attending a global leadership event in Singapore.

The pair were filmed and appeared to impersonate Asian people in an expletive-laden tirade.

Mr Giles later told The Courier-Mail he and Ms Stott regretted their actions in Singapore and assured customers it was an "isolated incident".

The union says all reports of harassment have come from Punjabi people, which the union says represent about 300 of the 380 of migrant workers at the company, which employs 800-1000 casual workers.

United Workers Union food and beverage spokeswoman Imogen Beynon said one employee is now feeling "very unsafe" after a physical attack.

"One attack has left an employee feeling very unsafe at work, while the perpetrator has faced no disciplinary action and still remains at work," she said. "The bullying, harassment and racism these vulnerable migrant workers are copping at Youfoodz is deplorable.


Youfoodz founder Lance Giles and his partner Jordana Stott. Photo: Katrina Jones.
Youfoodz founder Lance Giles and his partner Jordana Stott. Photo: Katrina Jones.


"They came to live and work in Australia aware of our country's reputation as a fair and just society - instead they've found a Brisbane-based employer that turns a blind eye to the serious racial abuse happening under its roof.

"Rather than addressing the worksite's culture of racism and bullying, the company is using it to drive productivity," she said.

"For example, while many workers get access to 10-minute breaks, Punjabi workers are often told by their supervisors that they can't take rest breaks and if they do, they risk having their shifts cut.

"When Punjabi workers raised this issue with the company's HR manager, their shifts were subsequently cut to four hours in length to avoid having to give them 10-minute breaks."

A Youfoodz spokesperson said the company was not aware of any acts of culturally - or otherwise - motivated violence in the workplace.

"We do not condone violence or threats of violence in the workplace. Behaviour of this kind is not tolerated, and any employees found to have participated in such conduct are and have been subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment," the spokesperson said.

"Staff are employed under the Food, Beverage and Tobacco Manufacturing Award 2010, which does not provide for paid 10-minute rest breaks.

"Despite this, all Youfoodz staff are welcome to take brief break/s as reasonably required throughout their shift for bathroom use or a drink break."