Young workers in Canberra, supported by UnionsACT, will take to the streets for a Summer Patrol on Monday 24 February to raise awareness about wage-theft, sexual harassment at work and safety in the hospitality industry.
The Summer Patrol is a new program from the Young Workers Centre to tackle the wage-theft crisis impacting young workers in the ACT.
More than half of young workers aged under 25 have experienced wage-theft in the past 12 months, and young workers are twice as likely to be seriously injured at work.
Wage-theft is committed against 20% of young workers who are children aged under 18.
Despite over half of young workers experiencing wage-theft, only 25% reported trying to recover their stolen wages. The reasons include long and expensive legal processes, casualisation and fear of being sacked.
The Summer Patrol provides training to young people (who volunteer) about workplace rights and safety. The volunteers then speak with and provide information to young workers about wage-theft, safety and other workplace rights. The Summer Patrol will take place in neighbourhoods with high employment of young workers.
The following quotes are attributable to Alex White, Secretary of UnionsACT:
“There is an epidemic of wage-theft in Canberra, and young workers are sick of having their income stolen.
“Scores of young people have volunteered to join the Summer Patrol, and this shows that young people are standing up against exploitation and theft.
“On Monday, our volunteers will hit the streets to talk with other young workers about their rights, and how to stand up against exploitation and wage-theft.
“Employers that don’t steal wages or put young workers at risk of serious injury are called on to support the Summer Patrol, and help us find and stop dodgy practices.”