What is it with Blairites not paying their staff? Yesterday, as Chuka Umunna was getting a deserved pasting for not paying his interns, the moderate Progress think tank placed a new advert on the W4MP website seeking a whole team of unpaid “volunteers” to do specific jobs with clear responsibilities that patently amount to real work.
Progress want “a number” of events interns to “organize flagship events like Progress political weekend, Progress annual conference and the Progress fringe programme at Labour Party conference”. That is clearly real work that merits payment.
They want a team of unpaid sub-editors “to produce and edit content for our website, and supporting our editorial team”. Progress want young staff to write and edit unpaid…
And they want a social media intern to run their Twitter and Facebook accounts unpaid.
According to their website, last year Progress had an income of £487,574. This year the likes of Tony and Cherie Blair and Charlie Falconer have given them tens of thousands of pounds. They could at least pay their interns rather than make them work for free…
UPDATE: Statement from Progress’ Richard Angell:
“Like many good causes with a social purpose, we have created a structured way that people can volunteer. All of which are tasks that can be done in people’s free time, not from an office or specific location. The volunteer is free to change their mind or opt out of any commitments. Progress was one of the first groups to stop unpaid internship and supports changes in the law to ensure this is not just best practice but common Place. If people wish to volunteer with Progress – in their own time and in a location of their choosing – we look forward to hearing from them. The experience included training and all reasonable expenses will be covered.”