Who are #WorkMustPay?
The #WorkMustPay Campaign is made up of a small network of young activists who take part in a series of actions to directly challenge the acceptability of employers taking on unpaid JobBridge interns instead of providing even the basic respect of a minimum wage for workers. These actions, to date, are a joint effort on the part of the Connolly Youth Movement, Unite Youth-Dublin Activist Group, the CWU Youth Committee and members of Sinn Fein Republican Youth.
Why the need for a #WorkMustPay Campaign?
After the government has proven to be so thoroughly unresponsive to polite reservations, academic criticism and political protest against their use of unpaid internships as a form of ‘labour activation’; a change of tactics has been well overdue in campaigning. Instead of lobbying politicians and hoping for a change in policy, we challenge any employer which profits from the use of free JobBridge labour. Peaceful pickets, chants and leaflets are used to encourage such employers to take down any current JobBridge adverts, take on no further interns and commit to the basic respect of a day’s work = a day’s pay for future employees. We will not be seeking the immediate abandonment of all JobBridge positions as the unexpected loss of €50 a week for the person involved would cause unnecessary hardship. Prior warning is provided to all businesses engaged with as part of this campaign and we hope that this will be enough for them to reconsider their position before action has to be taken by #WorkMustPay activists.
Responding to Potential Criticism
Some may say it is unfair that we focus on businesses that are only making use of a fully legal and government approved program. We would reply by saying that an under 25 year old receives only €150 a week through this scheme and there is nothing fair about trying to make that stretch to cover rent, food, transport, medical costs and any other expenses. The use of unpaid internships has eliminated job opportunities that used to provide a survivable income for people trying to make ends meet and it has increasingly become a scheme where employers can ‘try before they buy’ future workers, with no guarantee they will do the latter. We hope to create an environment where this practice becomes less acceptable and the amount of potential wage paying jobs being turned into internships is reduced.
How to contact us
We now have groups in Kerry, Cork, Sligo and Belfast find links to their facebook pages below along with details on how to contact them.
Kerry – #WorkMustPay Kerry
Sligo – #WorkMustPay Sligo
Cork – #WorkMustPay Cork
Belfast –#WorkMustPay Belfast also on Twitter. You can email them at firstname.lastname@example.org