Filipino boxers kept in slave-like conditions, threatened with deportation
October 31, 2010 § 4 Comments
A FAMILY recruiting Filipino boxers to fight in Australian tournaments is under investigation for allegedly keeping the men in slave-like conditions in their Sydney garage. The Immigration Department yesterday confirmed it was looking into complaints made against a stable of boxers in the western suburbs late last week. The New South Wales government agency Combat Sports Authority is also aware of the complaints. The four men bringing the complaint are from Cebu in the Philippines. They allege they were stripped of their passports upon arrival and forced into domestic servitude, washing dishes, cleaning toilets and child-minding for the family. The men say they lived in the family’s garage, eating the same rice meals day after day and without a heater through winter.
The men allege they were not paid proper entitlements from title bouts and have been threatened with deportation, and in one case death, if they complained or defected to another manager. ”They live in a very standard place, only in a garage, no heater,” the complaint says. ”They wash their clothes by bare hands, doing housework … as if they are houseboys.” One of the complainants, a 23-year-old super bantamweight, told The Age he was brought to Australia to box two years ago.
He said his manager had lied to him. ”I know about my real prizes. He’s not telling me the truth,” he said. Of the $3000 he won in a title fight recently, the boxer received $400. The manager threatened the fighter with deportation when he learned the boxer was questioning his treatment.