Darwin mango pickers underpaid

MANGO MONEY: The Fair Work Ombudsman claims backpackers were underpaid for mango picking near Darwin. Picture: supplied.

MANGO MONEY: The Fair Work Ombudsman claims backpackers were underpaid for mango picking near Darwin. Picture: supplied.

YOUNG overseas backpackers recruited to work on mango farms near Darwin were allegedly underpaid almost $36,000 in just two months.

Some were allegedly paid nothing at all for weeks of work picking, weeding and pruning.

Others, aged 19 and 20 at the time, were allegedly paid an average of $2 an hour.

Most of the backpackers were in Australia on 417 working holiday visas when they worked on the mango farms between September and November last year.

The 417 visa-holders were from Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Taiwan.

The Fair Work Ombudsman has announced it is taking legal action against a business trading as The Mango Shop, sourcing fruit from farms around Humpty Doo, and selling them via a roadside stall.

The business was registered to a young Belgian backpacker who was in Australia on a 417 working holiday visa, but who is now an international student.

The Mango Shop allegedly underpaid 11 overseas workers and one permanent resident from New Zealand a total of $35,630 for work performed on farms at LivingstoneNoomanah and Humpty Doo.

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