Senate to grill 7-Eleven over employee underpayments; NAB Business Survey rises in August: Midday Roundup

Senate to grill 7-Eleven over employee underpayments; NAB Business Survey rises in August: Midday Roundup

7-Eleven will be called on to appear before a federal Senate inquiry into temporary work visa programs, reports The Australian.

Greens member of parliament Adam Bandt recommended the special hearing after a joint investigation by the ABC and Fairfax uncovered allegations of widespread underpayments of employees at the convenience store chain.

The committee that will conduct the hearing is made up of members of both major parties and the Greens, including Sue Lines, Deborah O’Neill and Nova Peris from the Labor Party, Bridget McKenzie and Arthur Sinodinos from the Coalition and Bandt and Lee Rhiannon from the Greens.

“These claims must be tested and the workers must be heard, so I am pleased that the Senate committee has agreed to the Greens’ call for a special hearing into these reports,” Bandt said.

“The claims will now be properly heard as part of the temporary work visa inquiry, which will help us learn how to prevent exploitation like this from happening again.”

7-Eleven Australia chairman Russ Withers has previously said the company will participate in any Senate inquiry if invited to do so.

NAB Business Survey rises in August

A flat spot in economic growth in the second quarter is not expected to continue into the third, according to the latest NAB Monthly Business Survey.

The August survey shows after losing ground last month, the conditions index jumped five points to +11 in August.

The rise brings the business conditions “trend” index measure to its highest level since late 2009.

However, the survey also shows business confidence fell in August, falling from +4 to +1, representing the lowest level since mid-2013.

NAB found recent financial market ructions and concerns about China’s growth concerns have had an unnerving effect on business.

The bank also said confidence eased in most industries, although mining and construction recovered some of last month’s sharp declines.

Local shares rally

Local shares rallied early this morning on the back of reports from the big banks and miners.

Michael McCarthy, chief strategist at CMC Markets, said in statement early indications in the Asia Pacific region today also pointed towards “mild positive momentum” in local shares. Trade data from China stands out as the most likely candidate, McCarthy said.

“European shares rallied despite weaker than expected German numbers, as investors recalled ECB Chair Draghi’s dovish comments last week,” McCarthy said.

“However, further signs of an unresponsive supply side in oil markets, this time from Russia, saw oil prices drop 4% and drag sentiment and industrial commodities lower. Commodity weakness could drive Australian share underperformance in the session.”

The S&P/ASX200 benchmark was up 1%, rising 48.7 points to 5079.1 points at 12.03pm AEST. On Monday, the Dow Jones closed down 1.668%, falling 272.38 points to 16102.4 points.

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