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Are unpaid internships justified?


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Unpaid X-Factor interns received their £3,000 compensation recently for their 3 month placement last winter. The deserved payout can finally put the interns at rest after having spent six or seven days a week working alleged full days varying between 10 to 15 hours.

Those responsible came forward stating it was a matter that had now been dealt with, but refusing to say how many interns had been paid, how much money they received and whether others were involved. Simon Cowell, the programme's executive producer, was notified of the payments.

An apology was made to the interns and eventually got payback, however, it is just unethical and unprofessional for this issue to have even happened. Again, it emphasises the crucial role media has for underdogs that need the help to stand up and make a point.

Officials for the government have also recently exploited those vulnerable over the Diamond Jubilee Weekend. At a time of celebration for many, unpaid Jubilee workers slept under London Bridge until the early hours of Sunday Morning.

Stewards for the Royal event travelled to London via bus and had been left stranded during the night. Several workers complained stating that the working standards were inadequate, and to get changed for their duty, workers had to change in public toilets with alleged no toilet access for 24 hours.

The positions were organised through the Government’s Work Programme forcing jobseekers to take up unpaid placements in order to continue receiving their benefits.

The controversy is posing the question why are these mistakes occurring, as the events have been long planned and well thought out; on the other hand these situations may very well be exaggerated by the media for publicity and high emotions from the workers. Exaggeration is a form of truth that has lost its temper.  

Hopefully these are several lessons learnt for future organisers to ensure standards of events, employees and the public are at foremost. For those that have been affected/exploited of high profile former employees, the Interns Fight for Justice Campaign has been organised to help interns take these employers to tribunal.

TNS would like to know your opinion on this issue.

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