Last fall I penned a brief piece questioning the ethics of universities advertising unpaid internships on behalf of large corporations. Well the practice hasn't stopped and here's an example of how absurd the situation is.
|CTV's Marilyn Denis|
What leaves a real bad taste in my mouth is the fact that Bell is an extremely profitable company earning $574 million in profit in Q1 2012 alone and sitting on close to billion dollar in cash reserves. Bell prides itself as a good corporate citizen, but is the reputation deserved given the practices described above? This isn't an isolated incident either, consider the small army of unpaid interns Bell Mobility has amassed in Mississauga within the PMP program. Rather it's quite possible that there's some deeper addiction to free labour ingrained with Bell's internal culture.
What has to be remembered here is that this situation is abnormal as no corporation posting huge profits should be allowed to treat young workers in this manner. To provide some perspective, consider that Chinese interns at the oft maligned Foxconn might be beginning to have better working conditions than many interns in North America.
Take a look at the these articles documenting the growing practice of using unpaid internships in the Canadian media industry, see: here, here, and here. Finally, here's the ILO's Director-General discussing his objections to unpaid internships and how to organize against the practice, see: