23 replies »

  1. Wow. Wonder if the dining room workers who are paid nothing get to share in the tip pool or get a discount on the $28 (+ GST) soup and sandwich lunch.


  2. I bussed at a major department store cafeteria throughout high school. At least I got paid the minimum wage.

    Here's what I learned:

    -how to make your dopey-costumed sorry-self scarce when the cool kids showed up

    -how to put out napkin fires on dinner plates

    -that you won't get in trouble for smashing a full coffee pot when you slip and fall hard hurting your back on a greasy fry kitchen floor. Gee, I wonder why not?

    -how to scream as loud as you can when a guy is rifling through lockers in the unsecured isolated women's change room

    -how you will be blamed for not keeping up with an avalanche of greasy dishes because management didn't bring extra help to replace bussers at grad time, or other special events

    -how to attract wild-life as you go home smelling of beef-dip and fries

    Yes, a formative experience, if your intent is to undermine a student's self-esteem.


  3. why not ask Ian Gillespie and Westbank Deverlopment who built and own the property what he thinks. While you are at it perhaps ask Mayor Robertson and his double talking Visionistas who hold many an event their due to Mr. Gillespie's largesse.

    Just sayin'


  4. Jeez Norm, I too, when I was too young to get a “real job” worked in menial capacities in food service at restaurants, lodges and a cafeteria. I guess I should feel fortunate that I got paid wages, low wages, but wages nevertheless, often I was entitled to eat there either for free or at a discount. Prospective employers would have been laughed out of town for offering jobs with no wages in our younger days, well maybe not in North Korea or somewhere.

    Let's face it, in those days it was common sense that how to be a busboy, waiter or dishwasher could be learned fairly quickly ON THE JOB, and on the payroll and to a fifteen year old such jobs were considered likely temporary while one was pursuing their pre or post secondary education. But today a starting busboy is likely to be training for a lifetime career with the top achievable goal being to perhaps reach the pinnacle of head busboy or asst chief salad prep guy.

    Perhaps this gross practice is accepted with so little push back because now being a busboy isn't a transitory job for someone starting out in life, but indeed likely to be a lifetime career with the ultimate goal of working one's way up from unpaid internship, to the LIEberal's sub minimum “learning” wage, to minimum wage at less than full time so benefits aren't included and with hard work and good luck perhaps one will reach the top, minimum wage for full-time hours with a small benefit or two here and there, like perhaps a sick day per year or time and a half after 100 hours per week!

    It certainly hasn't become the world we thought we were building when we were young Norm, thanks to the greed bags and their complete capture of the political process to enhance and consolidate their hold on all the resources and power that should be shared between all of society.


  5. An internship to become a busboy! You've got to be kidding…..

    Unfortunately, it's becoming clear that these unpaid internships are going to be the norm. The private sector now realizes that they don't even have to pay their employees anymore.

    We need to take a look at our society and decide if the direction we are heading is really the direction we want to go. I, for one, would not bring a child into society right now.


  6. This is beyond outrageous. It's odious. Bussing tables is manual labour. What is the educational benefit from clearing tables? How many hours of instruction are the students given by the hotels?

    Apprentice busboy?

    I became acquainted with unpaid apprenticeships when I lived in London in the late 60s. I fell in with a fairly eclectic young crowd. A couple of the guys were in one or two-year unpaid positions with major banks. Their parents covered their living costs and considerable clothing expenses. When I asked why, they were completely nonplussed in admitting that the unpaid term was the way by which the banks kept the riffraff out. Openings were only filled by those from families of means. After these kids made it through the financial squeeze, lucrative careers awaited them.

    Those who must feed themselves need not apply.


  7. Pay employees nothing and make huge profits, this is the Gordon Campbell legacy.

    How about an internship for Bill Borings job? I'll do it for $0.00 for a day.


  8. Didn't they day that it wasn't meant to be made public?? Maybe someone pushed the wrong button?? And clearly you old people who talk about the past and how u used to get paid so much money clearly aren't looking for jobs now and have no idea how difficult it can be without given opportunity. When given an unpaid internship it can lead to a full time job as long as u fill the requirements and are a good employee. I've had many unpaid internships and they have all led to full time employment with good wages. Work ethic gets you paid not just because you have a job. Some of you probably should try to get a job and see how it goes!


  9. Unpaid internship can lead to a full time job and it can lead to you shopping at Value Village whenever they have clearance sales. Or, your replacement with a new intern when you ask for minimum wage because your parents have grown tired of you living in the basement, raiding their fridge and returning their car with an empty tank.


  10. Your very negative. If I want to work for a certain company I'll do whatever it takes to get in the door. Its free training and work experience no? I'll do whatever it takes to get to full time paid employee


  11. Read a little history and learn about working conditions that caused civilized societies to impose minimum standards of employment.

    But then, maybe you're OK with English cotton mills using 6-year-olds to clean loose fibres from under working looms. That cost more than a handful of lives but then, little kids worked cheaply and were more or less replaceable.


  12. The “old people” you seem to hold in low esteem are not denigrating the unpaid interns. In fact they are lamenting the fact that big business and houses of learning are exploiting you just because they can, and there could and should be a better way.

    You’ve had many full time jobs with good wages despite your youth. What happened to them? How is it that you went from well-paid full-time employee to unpaid intern many times?

    Your comment reveals that the big kids have you right where they want you; and that’s too bad.


  13. ANon 3:34

    Perhaps your case would be valid if an intern was given the precious exclusive time of a world class architect, journalist, artist, scientist etc.

    Interning at the grunt level just pushes paid grunts out of the only work they may be suited to.


  14. Hey Norm, this is why the one percenters crap on any education beside vocational training. History, you know, has nothing to teach us.

    If youngsters understood how the middle class was created, something they would learn in history, they wouldn't like the way things are going now.


  15. I'm not denigrating “old people” for I may in fact be an older gentlemen. You have no idea and shouldn't make reference unless you can back up your facts. I'm just pointing out a fact that sometimes young people with little experience have to take unpaid internships to get a foot in the door in these large companies or any company for that matter. I do understand that they can pay at-least minimum wages but sometimes the uncertainty of not being paid and not leading to full time work pushes people to work harder. In my past career it is the norm to take unpaid internships to learn from more skilled and trained individuals, to gain the knowledge and work experience that you can put on your resume. This sometimes takes sacrifice. Thanks and good night


  16. “…the uncertainty of not being paid and not leading to full time work pushes people to work harder.”

    Exactly. Like I said, that's exploitation; and that's too bad.

    Thanks and goodnight to you too, old timer.


  17. Online I found a number of unpaid internships that sound like “work” as defined by labour standards.

    An9me Studios Entertainment – Vancouver, BC “Duties include media research, project development, project packaging, and general assistant responsibilities.”

    institute B – Vancouver, BC – The intern will be responsible for creating and curating institute B’s online content with the following responsibilities: Prepare content, including feature articles, posts, tweets, video, etc.

    High Volume Talent and Literary Agency currently seeking candidates for full/part time unpaid Internship.

    The SMOOCH BOUTIQUE – Vancouver, BC – This is an unpaid internship where you will gain valuable work experience

    I could list more than a dozen offerings from one employment agency.


  18. An old fashioned method for making unpaid workers work harder was to whip them, that was called slavery. Of course we live in more advanced times and the same effect can be achieved by subtler types of fear. In fact this kind of free labour is actually more profitable than slavery, as in the old days you had to buy your slaves, then house and feed them, even look after their health to protect your investment. With intern labour you can wash your hands of those responsibilities, dumping it onto society, parents, the individual, who cares?

    I'd really be interested to know what your past career was which required repeated unpaid employment, however, as otherwise it's hard to take your comments seriously.


  19. There used to be an Employment Standards Department at our local BC Access Centre which used to (BC Liberals shit-canned this office) prosecute complaints about things like unpaid overtime or requiring employees to supply their own equipment. As I recall, an employee was defined not by pay scale but by designation of workplace, hours of work specified by and supervision/instruction given by the employer. Regular, specified hours of work at a designated place where equipment is supplied and subordination required sounds a lot like a regular job to me, one that should be paid for. I wonder how many so-called interns realize they could make a case for getting paid at least minimum wage for hours of work so designated and supervised. If I'm not mistaken, two parties cannot agree to absolve themselves of the law; I recall certain tree-planting contractors requiring employees to sign such “contracts” and I know they didn't stand up under legal scrutiny. And I'm only talking about the money. What about workplace safety? What happens if an intern is injured “on the job”? If there's no payroll for that worker,
    then there's no premiums paid to WorkSafe BC (formerly called Worker's Compensation Board, WCB or “compo”). WorkSafe is pretty clear about covering workers: it is absolutely required. Take, for instance, a worker who agrees to get paid “under the table”, an agreement or unwritten 'contract' by which both the worker and employer benefit, both evading taxes, unemployment insurance and workers' compensation premiums, all of which is based on payroll. But the worker has a serious accident on the job and becomes disabled as a result. We all have a stake in such a matter because the injured worker will likely end up on social assistance until (or if) he or she becomes eligible for 'compo' (involving a cascade of jurisprudence, back-payments, fines and other punishments all round). Let's not forget that interns are by definition inexperienced and therefore more likely to be injured at the workplace. Please don't tell me unscrupulous employers have found a loophole around workers' compensation.


  20. This is to the Anonymous right-wing, brown-nosing dumbf*ck who is defending slavery. Nobody learns valuable work skills as an unpaid busboy. It's a job that almost nobody would do if they had a choice. If you've never done it before, you learn how to do the job in one shift. After that you just do the crappy job to pay the bills until you can get a better job. FU for defending exploitation and abuse!

    Slightly edited version reposted from 7:12 pm


  21. Norm

    You may have hit on to some really big here. I recently learned that an acquaintance is doing an unpaid internship for 6 months in order to possibly get a paying job as a paralegal. At a major Vancouver law firm. How pervasive is this?


  22. My father would not have allowed me to use family money to pay my way to get to work so I can work for free.

    I am self-employed and would never consider hiring unpaid interns to do my various jobs, it's about having a standard of personal integrity, and a sense of social responsibility.

    Anon 3:26 I'm sure you have learned many things in your experiences, but if we had labour laws that prevented such exploitation, you'd have knowledge and a healthier bank account.


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