Archive for May, 2011

Interns Anonymous needs YOU to influence future government policy

At the end of the month Intern Aware and Interns Anonymous will be meeting with representatives from the National Minimum Wage team at the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills to discuss the guidance on and enforcement of the National Minimum Wage for Interns.

We are really interested in hearing about your experiences of internships. Are you doing identical work as paid employees? Are you producing reports and articles that are subsequently used and yet you receive no pay? Have you seen entry level jobs replaced with rolling internships?

We are especially interested in how employers have encouraged interns to work for no pay. Have you been promised a reference that has never appeared? Have you been promised paid work in the future? Have you even been threatened with blacklisting if you fail to complete an internship?

We need as much evidence as possible to convince the Government that this is a real and pressing problem and we want to hear from the widest possible group of interns. PLEASE HELP and email us- <internsanonymous at gmail.com>!

I know it's a cliche but you can't beat a bit of good old fashioned propaganda

Two fantastic events for you people

1. Intimate bookshop talk exploring the culture of work… Ross Perlin is travelling all the way from the States to Clapton in East London to talk about his new book, ‘Intern Nation’ (see post below)

WHEN: Wednesday, June 1st, 2011 at 7pm

WHERE: Pages of Hackney bookshop, 70 Lower Clapton Road, Hackney, London, E5 0RN

COST: 3 QUID

CONTACT: 020 8525 1452

2. Ross Perlin, Ed Howker and Shiv Malik: The Betrayal of Britain’s Youth

Our favourite people Shiv Malik and Ed Howker, writers of Jilted Generation, step up to defend young people once again- and now with an American ally, Ross Perlin.

WHEN: Saturday, June 04, 2011 at 2.30pm

WHERE: Abney Public Hall, Stoke Newington Literary Festival

Another book mention! ‘Intern Nation’ by Ross Perlin

We’re very pleased to announce that another book has been published which mentions Interns Anonymous- Perlin has taken an entertaining look at internship culture in the US and mentions the UK along the way:

Ross Perlin’s myth-busting exposé of the brave new world of unpaid work is a witty yet serious investigation of the well-trodden part of internships. Writer, multi-linguist and former intern, Perlin takes the reader inside the private and public sectors, journalism, boutique charities and mega corporations such as Disney. Furthermore, he inspects how many thrifty universities run lucrative study-abroad “destination internship” schemes and exchange student labour for cheap academic credit where little to no learning takes place. Referring to historians about what unleashed this phenomenon, Perlin unravels the cultural and professional rhetoric surrounding internships, from its beginnings in the nineteenth-century hospital to its next base in the political realm, on Capitol Hill.

CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT MORE AND BUY A COPY!

14 unsalaried staff- an all-time record?

This message came in the post. We’ve heard about offices of 10 people run by interns….but never 14…

16 staff, plus the boss. Only two are salaried. Thirteen languages spoken by 14 people, with 17 university degrees. The daily wage covers rent. Just. It represents about two thirds of the national minimum wage. There is no sick-day allowance, and no paid leave.

Last week I worked 59 hours. I ate at my desk. This is normal. My name does not appear on any of the work I produce, or any of the correspondence I write.

We  work less than 2km from the International Labour Organisation, in a city ranked as 5th most expensive in the world. (Mercer 2010 cost of  living ranking)

14 people, who want to use their skills to improve the lives of the other 7 billion.

We  hear that the global economy may be recovering. But what should the generation do who fell into the employment black hole, where real jobs  were replaced by internships? “Unpaid, full-time, 6 months minimum, PhD  preferred…”

14 people, who represent many more.

We  don’t have savings, we’re graduates. We have debt. And we didn’t accumulate that debt at some of the best universities in the world in order to spend our lives on the same terms as our high-school work experience.

Experience is valuable. So is a salary.

Anon.

NUJ wins first victory for intern!

Sorry for sluggish post-rate of late but hopefully this will make up for it-

The NUJ has warned media employers to “pay interns or face the consequences” after union member Keri Hudson successfully sued TPG Web Publishing Ltd over her unpaid internship.

Keri Hudson, 21, was successful at a Central London employment tribunal today in proving she had a right to be paid for work carried out over several weeks at the My Village Website in late 2010. The tribunal heard that despite the fact she worked each day from 10am – 6pm and had been personally responsible for and in charge of a team of writers, for training and delegating tasks, collecting briefs, scheduling articles and even hiring new interns the company had told her she was not eligible for any pay because they considered her an intern.

In her evidence Keri Hudson said she had been asked when the site was taken over by TPG Web Publishing Ltd if she would stay on and work for the new company. She was assured her pay would be fixed. After 5 more weeks she was informed she would not now be receiving a payment for the work she carried out – she resigned and took out a grievance.

With the support of the NUJ and Thompsons lawyer Richard Williams, she took today’s proceedings.

The tribunal found she was a worker in law even though she didn’t have a written contract and was therefore entitled to be paid at least the National Minimum Wage and holiday pay. NUJ General Secretary Jeremy Dear said:

Today’s judgement sends a clear warning to all employers to pay their interns, abide by the law or face the consequences. It is unacceptable that full time staff are being sacked while unpaid interns are being exploited. This is the first case of its kind – if employers continue to break the law it will not be the last.

NUJ Legal Officer Roy Mincoff said:

This sends a clear message to media companies that if they treat interns like cheap labour, the NUJ will take you through the courts. If in reality interns are workers, they are entitled to National Minimum Wage and holiday pay and NUJ will fight for these rights to be enforced.

The NUJ has appealed to other interns who believe they should have been paid to contact the union at legal@nuj.org.uk

Think that deserves a glass of champagne!

Cheers!


Interns Anonymous

We want this website to be a forum for interns to share their experiences and discuss the ethics of unpaid employment. Most importantly, we want this site to be a place where YOU can tell us your story.

Disclaimer

Interns Anonymous accept no responsibility for the contents of the blog, comments or any other content on this site that is posted or provided by third parties. This website is designed to act as a forum for interns to share experiences and opinions about their work, therefore, we will not censor opinions we do not agree with. The opinions stated in blog contributions do not represent those of Interns Anonymous. We disclaim all liability for such content to the fullest extent permitted by law. If you have any queries please email us.

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