The Courier-Mail

OPEN MOUTH AND INSERT FOOT-LONG

- RENEE VIELLARIS

BILL Shorten put his foot (long) in his mouth yesterday when he wrongly accused Subway of ripping off overseas workers.

Realising he meant to have a dig at 7-Eleven, he quickly took to Twitter to apologise and hinted he would have Subway for lunch.

The Opposition leader did not say whether it would be a six-inch or a foot-long sandwich. His staff also ensured his transcript of the press conference had 7-Eleven in brackets when he referred to Subway.

“We want to make sure that we don’t see people coming here on visas being exploited and undercutti­ng Australian jobs,’’ Mr Shorten said when asked about a freetrade agreement with China.

“I think we’ve all been ap- palled and disgusted by the scenes at Subway (7-Eleven) where literally thousands of people on visas are being ripped off.

“Why on earth do we want to undermine Australian labour standards, Australian skills standards, which protect the safety of Australian consumers?

“Now we’ll sort this issue out but Labor will not be bullied to give up on standing up for Australian jobs by the shouting of Mr Abbott and his Liberals.’’

Then later: “Apologies to

@SubwayAust­ralia, I meant to say @7ElevenAus. Is it lunchtime yet? Might grab a sub.”

The 7-Eleven franchise has been accused of underpayin­g overseas workers studying in Australia.

Mr Shorten’s faux pas gave habitual Twitter devotees pol- itical fodder and the memory of cold pies. Mr Shorten was opposition workplace relations minister in 2012 when he had a hissy fit about a pie from Carlton North Foods.

Pie-seller Annie Huang, who had outlined her approval of his then boss Julia Gillard, said she told Mr Shorten she had sold out of pies and could heat one up in a microwave, but it would be soft.

She alleged Mr Shorten dropped the “F” bomb, stormed out and then came back to say he would not come back again.

Mr Shorten, who denied swearing, said he thought she said the pie would be soft like Ms Gillard.

“What I now accept, and that’s why I have unreserved­ly apologised to Mrs Huang, (is) she is saying she likes Julia Gillard,’’ he told the media after his exchange become public.

“She wasn’t saying the Prime Minister was soft like a pie.

“I certainly needed to get a pie. I’m sure that I was under the pump to get Rupert (his son) a pie before football.”

APOLOGIES TO @SUBWAY AUSTRALIA, I MEANT TO SAY @7ELEVENAUS. IS IT LUNCHTIME

YET? MIGHT GRAB A SUB.

TWEET BY BILL SHORTEN (PICTURED)

 ??  ??
 ??  ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia