Today, the Trades Union Congress (TUC) is launching a website called “Right for interns“.
This Rights for Interns website provides information and advice on the rights interns should expect, allows them to share their experiences and explains the benefits of joining a union.
It is about time that a union make a systematic effort to reach out to interns. They seem to understand that:
There’s a real head of steam on this issue now. Some might argue this is well overdue. There’s still a mindset out there that thinks that interns working for free is just a normal part of working life. We need to work together to change this.
It is in the interest of the unions since their next generation of members is facing this problem. Its source is also the same that lead to the creation of unions: a collective action problem. Interns have no bargaining power as their are competing against each other. This experience can teach them the value of collective bargaining.
The website has a neat section on the rights of interns that explains why the title “intern” does not allow to underpay an employee. And they have a sort of survey, for which I hope that they will release some data later – go fill it if you’re in the UK.
Welcome to the fight, TUC.