The Fun Tea worker who was slapped in the face and kicked in the stomach, plus one of her colleagues, have released a statement to tell Australia what they allege really happened. The words “assault” and “wage theft” pop up a lot.
The two workers are international students aged 20 and 22 who wish to remain anonymous. They say they worked at Fun Tea for five months and three weeks, respectively, and got paid between $10 and $12 an hour – well below the award wage.
They decided to speak out through their lawyers after reading the statement taped to Fun Tea’s door on Wednesday.
Their recollection of events basically matches what a lot of people had been saying online already: that the man who slapped the woman, Gavin Guo (also known as Lei Guo), was a friend of Fun Tea owner Jason Duan (also known as Jiachan Duan), who was wearing the grey shirt. Fun Tea has already denied these allegations.
Prior to the incident, the two workers say they were told by Duan to give Guo and his family free drinks and desserts, which may have sparked the initial altercation after a misunderstanding.
While Fun Tea said Gavin “was not related to Fun Tea”, the alleged victims’ statement claims otherwise.
“Our client(s) strongly reject Fun Tea’s statement that Mr Guo was not related to Fun Tea,” the statement reads.
“Mr Guo is a close friend of Mr Duan, the owner and manager or Fun Tea. The Fun Tea statement is misleading.”
On top of that, the alleged victims also claim – just like heaps of people online could tell from the Mandarin dialogue – that the incident did relate to pay.
“Our client entirely rejects any assertion that the assault was not in relation to a complaint about her pay,” the statement read.
“Our client was asking to be paid her wages for that night and the two weeks prior. This is clear from the video.”
Their lawyers also allege that “Mr Duan failed to provide a safe workplace by facilitating and participating in the workplace violence.”
Statement from victims of Funtea assault and wage theft.— The Working Women's Centre SA (@WWCSA2) February 3, 2021
Please direct all media enquires to WWC SA Inc. pic.twitter.com/0GL5bktaXB
“Mr Duan did not immediately check on the welfare of our clients. He did not alert the police or call paramedics on the night,” they continued.
“That night, Mr Duan did not apologise to our clients. That night Mr Duan did not say goodbye to our clients.
“Our client believes that her phone was stolen from the scene.”
The lawyers from the Working Women’s Centre SA noted that the two workers didn’t upload the video of the brawl themselves, and that they were “shocked” to see how viral the footage has gone. They plan on seeing justice for the assault and alleged wage theft.
“International students are often victims of wage theft, deportation intimidation, violence and threats of violence in the workplace,” the lawyers said.
“Our clients stood up for themselves and their right to a wage and as a result they were violently attacked.”
While Guo was arrested on Monday and charged with assault. Hopefully the ‘he said, she said’ can soon be put to rest in light of pretty horrific video evidence.