Street magician seeks lost wages from employer

By Hana Garrett-Walker

File photo / Thinkstock
File photo / Thinkstock

A street magician who quit his day job to perform at an Auckland bar lost out on more than $2000 in wages when his employer failed to pay him regularly.

Joseph Chin had a "regular" day job, but as he was performing street magic during his lunch hour one day met Tuncer Sakgun who offered Mr Chin a contract to work an Auckland bar he was opening.

He was offered a job performing at Crow Bar for two hours on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday nights for $80 an hour.

After Mr Chin signed an employment agreement he quit his day job so "he could concentrate on doing the work that he loved".

But from its opening in August last year there were difficulties with payments, and by October Mr Chin was being paid only once a fortnight.

By December he was owed $2000 and started looking for work elsewhere.

Mr Chin went to the Employment Relations Authority seeking reimbursement for lost wages.

Mr Sakgun did not show up to the hearing.

Authority member James Crichton ruled that Mr Chin was owed $2200 in unpaid wages and that Crow Bar must pay him.

But Mr Chin told APNZ he was not sure whether he would see the money or not.

"They definitely ripped a lot of other people off as well, I was the only person that actually took it this far.

"I was like, if they're doing this to everyone, I might as well go through the system and try and get them in trouble for it."

He said as soon as he started the job "it was all downhill".

But he had not let this experience put him off his magic, and had managed to pick up a lot of corporate work since.

Mr Sakgun did not return calls for comment.

- APNZ

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