The joint parliamentary inquiry into franchising will hear explosive allegations in Melbourne on Friday that convenience chain 7-Eleven has paid people not to give evidence.
Lawyer Stewart Levitt, who represents a group of 7-Eleven franchisees, said evidence would be given that 7-Eleven paid leaders of 7-Eleven to exit the franchise, partly in return for them agreeing to refuse to testify at the inquiry.
“Those franchisees had already accepted a request to attend to give evidence, having authored submissions critical of 7-Eleven,” said Mr Levitt.
A spokesperson for 7-Eleven said the allegations were “absolute nonsense”. “We respect the right of our franchisee partners to participate in the inquiry,” the spokesperson said.
The Melbourne hearings follow the first round of public hearings in Brisbane on June 8.
Evidence will also be given by Domino’s franchisees, Pizza Hut franchisees and Jim Penman, founder of the Jim’s franchise group.
The beleaguered franchising sector has been under increasing scrutiny after a series of investigations by Fairfax Media into industry giants including 7-Eleven, Domino’s, Caltex, and Retail Food Group.
Extracted from SMH