#WorkMustPay Campaign Update – Celebrations Party Shop

Yesterday, the 31st of July,  #WorkMustPay targeted Celebrations Party Shop on Middle Abbey Street. We had previously sent out a warning email but received no reply. On this protest the #WorkMustPay team received the most aggressive response from the business we had ever encountered, culminating in a physical assault of two members of the team. #WorkMustPay’s protests are always peaceful in nature; we use chants, placards, leaflets and discussion to get our point across. We have never resorted to violence and were shocked to encounter such aggression.

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Instead of lobbying politicians and hoping for a change in policy, we challenge employers who profits from the use of free JobBridge labour. Our protests are used to encourage 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.

#WorkMustPay had been outside the premises of Celebrations Party Shop for approx. 5 minutes when the owner came out to speak to us. The spokesperson was invited in to the shop to discuss the protest but when the owner became verbally abusive, shutting down any hope of reaching any agreement, the spokesperson rejoined the team outside. Not long afterwards the owner stood outside the shop and once again became verbally abusive, using sexist language and making threats. The team ignored him as best they could and continued chanting and leafleting. We received much welcome support from passers-by who witnessed this all taking place.

After a number of very positive interactions with interested pedestrians, the owner of the business re-emerged and attempted to physically attack the youngest member of protest. Two other protest members separated the owner from the group only to be assaulted by him themselves. People on the street and the #WorkMustPay team were shocked by this escalation, with several suggesting that the owner should be reported.

When the Gardai, whom the owner called, arrived the team was further berated by them with questions like “Do you not have jobs to go to?” making it very clear that even after an elderly gentleman had stated that the shop owner was the one who needed to be arrested for assault, the Gardai were unwilling to listen to anyone but the business owner.

#WorkMustPay have a right, as does any member of the public, to protest and to be free from verbal and physical assault while doing so. The reaction of the Gardai highlight that this is not an isolated incident but indicative of a much larger issue; the erosion of the right to protest. #WorkMustPay will not stand by and allow bulling and harassment to silence us.

#WorkMustPay demands an end to JobBridge, an end to free labour schemes and an end to the exploitation of workers, young and old. We call on activists to join in our campaign and demand that work pays a living wage! Please contact us at workmustpayireland@gmail.com if you would like to be notified of future pickets. You can also find us on facebook and twitter.

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7 thoughts on “#WorkMustPay Campaign Update – Celebrations Party Shop

  1. Eugene 08/01/2015 / 5:04 PM

    Well done to all the young activists. Keep up the good work. This is a great campaign to make trade unions more relevant to the lives of tens of thousands of young workers in Ireland. If we care they will care.
    We need to continue to build the peoples resistance against the employers, the government and the European Union.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sandra 08/03/2015 / 7:33 PM

    This was a completely uncalled for reaction from the business owner and the jobbridge position does sound mad. I want to say that I understand and acknowledge that there are jobbridge positions out there like this one that are ludicrous, but why are you advocating an end to a scheme that has actually helped a lot of people? It’s not all negative. I’m not some government lackie, or an employer, and I’m not saying jobbridge is perfect but I am a person who did a 9 month jobbridge internship which was one the best experiences of my life. I learned a huge amount and gained experience in an area I would not have had a snowballs chance of getting a job in without the internship. As someone without a degree jobbridge gave me the leg up I desperately needed. Please don’t tar every employer and jobbridge position with the same brush. Is it not true that 61% of interns have gained full time employment after completing an internship? I’m glad that I got to be one of them.

    Like

    • #WorkMustPay 08/04/2015 / 2:24 PM

      Hi Sandra, Thanks for your comment. Glad to hear that the Jobbridge scheme worked out for you and hope you don’t take any of the below as intended to diminish that.

      The 61% figure is a bit misleading as it covers any kind of work – including part time and temporary contracts for seasonal work. Only 27%, according to the NYCI, actually progress to full time work within a year of finishing their Jobbridge Placement.

      This 61% also consists of people with a high PEX (Probability of Exiting the Live Register) score meaning these are people who would be likely to find work (of some kind) within a year, without a scheme or placement.

      This means 39% of people who complete a Jobbridge don’t have any work within a year of finishing up. There are also a large number of people that do not complete their Jobbridge for a wide range of reasons including cost of staying on the scheme. These are often people with a lower PEX score and have been out of the job market longer. These people cannot be helped by an unpaid internship.

      Besides all the above there are many sectors now like Media and the Arts that due to the prevalence of unpaid internships, do not accept them towards the minimum experience a position requires. Employers do not value unpaid work as work.

      There are other complications with using Jobbridge that this Irish times article on SNA’s covers re: wages, training and the devaluing of work – particularly care work. http://www.irishtimes.com/news/education/teachers-and-snas-recruited-via-jobbridge-despite-warnings-1.2304892

      We of the campaign hold the belief that a person should be paid from the day they start work, be it an entry level position or traineeship, because the day they start working is the day the business is making money from their labour. Internships are a recent phenomena, before them experience was gaining on the job while earning a wage.

      Doubtless there are individual successes on Jobbridge but it’s not only the individual these schemes affect – it’s changing the very nature of how we see work and not for the better.

      Liked by 1 person

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