unions wage stagnation
(Image: AAP)

When it come to exploitive industries, few can match the horticulture sector.

About 40% of employers in the sector steal wages, the Fair Work Ombudsman says, and a lot more fail to keep proper records. Many, especially in the Wide Bay region in Queensland, are serial offenders, with nearly half of previous perpetrators continuing to breach workplace laws.

The sector relies heavily on labour hire firms, which frequently engage in phoenixing, competing to rip off workers as much as possible, and migrant workers exploiting the government's loose onshore visa process and undermining the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.