This is not a common thing in Australia, the base wage here is an award level rate that is set by Fair Work Australia and if anyone is not receiving their base pay they can either engage Fair Work who will investigate and act or they can call the union. The reason people get to work such crap hours in IT in Australia is because they fail to unionise, I spent 15 years as a shop steward in the steel industry and we were paid quite well, when they tried to slam our conditions we negotiated and if that failed we withdrew our labour, simple really. The USA has a totally different work/life balance culture, it does not exist. What I have found over the last ten years working in IT is people are scared to stand up for themselves and thier entitlements, the more this happens the more employers will take advantage of the employees. It is the employees decision whether they will get some backbone and apply it.
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