On the 23rd, Unite the Union held a seminar on Strategies to End Precariousness – The Case for Decent Work. #WorkMustPay had a speaker on the panel for the discussion on ‘Who is Affected By Precarity?’ and during the Q and A that followed 2 more members of the campaign spoke; Nereko very eloquently on their own experience, with Jonathan Arlow following up on the imperative need for unions to take an anti-jobbridge stance and to follow it with action. You can find the full list of speakers here. Please find extracts of the speech below and the full text of the speech here.
“The Government, through the Jobbridge scheme, has in effect told private-sector employers to embrace precarious work as the model contract of the future. Joan Burton speaking earlier this year said as much when asked about compelling employers to offer permanent contracts after completion of a Jobbridge Placement “In the real world that we live in that’s not possible.”
Jobbridge is a try-before-you-buy model of employment that uses the promise of a possible job and a possible future wage to steal nine months of free labour. Jobbridge has taken the one thing all workers can take for granted, a wage, and made it an aspiration. Its end goal is to individualise unemployment and make job-seekers blame themselves for their unemployment.
Jobbridge is a stepping stone to the precarious workforce. By successfully lowering standards to the point where a worker is thankful to be paid at all, the government has created a worker who is so atomised and powerless that demands for improved conditions, sick pay or basic health and safety adherence is beyond them. Jobbridge and all forms of unpaid intern-ships are just another way to control and beat down workers rights.
This is where we start; firstly, by blocking intern-ships in unionised workplaces and secondly, by protesting their use in others to show that we stand with non-unionised workers and offer them a means to demand dignity in the workplace.”