GO TO SOURCE
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA, May 05, 2001: Eight Indian stonemasons helping with construction work at the Sri Venkateswara Temple, in Illawara, embroiled in a payment row with a temple committee here left for their home in Tamil Nadu after getting "substantial" money in back pay in a case that got them the support of one of Australia's largest trade unions. The final settlement amount is a matter of speculation as the court concerned has imposed a gag on both the negotiating parties to not reveal it publicly. "Our members (the Indian stonemasons) are very happy with the settlement," Phil Davey, Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) media liaison officer said. The union had alleged that the workers were being grossly underpaid and were living in poor and unsafe conditions on the temple premises. New South Wales Labor Council deputy assistant secretary Chris Christodoulou said the workers were unaware that their work would be covered under the Australian laws regulating minimum wages.