More than 10,000 Indigenous workers in WA between 1936 and 1972 are seeking their stolen wages, the latest in a long line of such cases.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander readers, please note that this article may contain images of deceased persons.
This week sees the continuation of another in a series of historic stolen wages class actions launched against the states, in this case Western Australia. Up to 14,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who worked in WA between 1936 and 1972 on farms, cattle stations and “native schools” are seeking hundreds of millions of dollars in stolen wages from the state government.
During this time, WA had a permit system under which the government “rented” Aboriginal people to pastoral stations as free labourers. Until 1972 the state could withhold up to 75% of their wage in government trust accounts. Mediation continues, and the parties are scheduled for a case management hearing on Friday.
Read more about the history of Indigenous wage theft.
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