In 2016, Young Workers started organising through the Young Workers Centre to address widespread, systemic wage theft. Activists started speaking out in the media, highlighting that the problem was not about a few occasional underpayments; this was a business model in numerous industries.
The campaign strategically highlighted big names in retail and hospitality, and shone a light on the impact of wage theft on young workers. Snap actions captured the attention of the media, and made the term "wage theft" part of the common vernacular.
Activists also organised politically. Young workers and their unions pressured the Victorian Labor Government to make wage theft a crime.
The Wage Theft Bill came into force on 1 July 2021. Young workers, union members and activists have campaigned hard for years to stop dodgy bosses stealing wages. Bosses found guilty of the crime of wage theft can now face hefty fines and jail time.