After some initial success in removing two unpaid JobBridge positions in the city centre, one in a well known cafe as a ‘juicer’ and one in a pharmacy as a retail worker, #WorkMustPay activists encountered their first stiff opposition when they contacted First Place Recruitment on Trinity Street.
The JobBridge position in question is for a general ‘office administrator’ role for 6 months with the intern working 30 hours a week unpaid. It shouldn’t need to be said that this should be a wage paying job and the irony of a recruiter trying to hire an unpaid intern to find paid employment for others is also not lost on us.
In a continuation of our standard practice, we sent on an advance picket warning to the employer and began dialogue regarding their stance on removing the advert, giving us written confirmation that they would commit to paying all employees and advertise no further JobBridge positions. After it became apparent that this would not be the case, with the employer even suggesting that one of our members should apply for the position to see how non-exploitative the scheme is, a picket was organised last Wednesday to begin a campaign to have this advert removed permanently with the position unfilled.
Activists from #WorkMustPay commenced an hour long picket outside the premises of First Place Recruitment and received a very positive response from passers-by. We distributed several hundred leaflets and had a good level of engagement with the public, many stopped to show support or discuss their own experiences with JobBridge. Even though activists tried to ring the First Place Recruitment office while on the picket line to recommence dialogue; there was either no reply or were hung up on after repeated attempts.
Actions will continue in the new year and we will diversify tactics and expand our group as necessary in order to eliminate this JobBridge position. Work must pay, we intend to ensure that is the case.
Many thanks to Broadsheet.ie and Rabble for their coverage of the picket. Please follow our #WorkMustPay twitter account where we regularly expose other employers who profit from the free labour provided through JobBridge.