A class action has been launched in the Northern Territory on behalf of First Nations workers who who unpaid or underpaid during the 20th century.

Shine Lawyers are currently travelling around the Northern Territory to 68 remote communities seeking former workers and their descendents who were not paid for work between 1933 and 1971.

It’s believed between eight and ten thousand people could be eligible to take part in the class action law suit against the Commonwealth.

Similar actions have been launched in Queensland and Western Australia, with the Queensland government settling in 2019 for $190 million.

Practice leader Tristan Gaven says the case could take two or three years due to its complexity, unless the Commonwealth decides to come forward with an offer.

“We’re very open to resolving this without the need for a trial. We hear stories everywhere we go of people who have passed away and we think it’s at a rate of one or two each week.

Every person who passes away is someone who misses out on justice being served for their circumstances and their lifelong work that they weren’t paid for.”