Green’s Dictionary of Slang

worker n.1

[work v.]

1. [mid-19C+] a criminal; usu. in combs. such as badger worker under badger n.1 , charity worker under charity n., dunnigan (worker) under dunnaken n., lush worker under lush n.1 , skin worker under skin n.1 , tail worker under tail n.

2. [1910s] in a pickpocket team, the member who actually picks the victim’s pocket.

In phrases