Saturday, 20 August 2016

CBC has an unpaid Intern problem

and they won’t admit it. 

CBC revealed this week that the government is not paying its interns ! 

Image result for stop the presses
(I couldn't find an imagine sarcastic enough - deal with it)
So you’re telling me even though Canada has a law against unpaid internships, people have found a loophole? Well I wonder how tricky that was

Unpaid internships are illegal unless the internship falls under one the three narrow exceptions listed in Ontario’s Employment Standards Act:internships that are part of a program approved by a secondary school board, college, or university;
Oh, so it wasn’t hard at all. 

Everyone i’ve ever known to apply for an internship has done it through post secondary education. Making one of the three “narrow” exceptions, pretty fucking broad.
Image result for unpaid intern
(This low quality image making an unpaid intern joke
truly shows just how broad the exception is)
I noticed something funny as CBC was criticizing the government over their use of unpaid interns. In every article CBC wrote on the subject, they admitted that the CBC also hired unpaid interns. This guilty conscious struck me as odd. Since the narrow unpaid internship requirements are as I already pointed out, pretty broad, its really no surprise CBC, or any other large company, has interns, why did they feel the need to point it out? Why do they seem to feel guilty about interns?

Two of the big criticisms CBC had of the government’s unpaid internships was that the government was abusing the free pool of labour by hiring 1000 unpaid interns, and that the interns were being “groomed” for the public service.

To corroborate CBC’s claim the the Feds are abusing the free labour pool lets compare a few numbers. 

The federal government employees about 257, 034 (2015 numbers) people. Thats quite a lot. If we assume CBC’s numbers are correct, Ottawa hires about 1000 interns per yer. This works out to about 0.004% of their total labour pool, or a little less than half of one percent.

lets compare this to CBC who as of 2014 had 8,182 employees. CBC employed 100 interns which means they would make up 1.2% of CBC’s total work force. While 1.2% doesn’t seem so bad , CBC is the one criticizing the feds for abusing the pool of free labour when they themselves employ based on percentage, THREE TIMES AS MANY INTERNS as the federal government.

So CBCs first claim is hypocritical, if not baseless. No surprises there, lets move on.
On the second point that the government was hiring interns “with the expectation they would eventually join the federal public service full-time.” I’m not sure why they are trying to generate controversy about this. Of course you would want an intern you just spent months training to take a job with your company. In fact in the list of requirements CBC has for its interns we find that
So it turns out this criticism is also pretty hypocritical.

So as i’ve already shown, CBC employs a higher percentage of interns than the feds, and just like the Feds they also demand you be available to work for them after your internship. 

As a side note, when googling “CBC internship” the most common articles to come up are ones where interns were warned not to intern at CBC’s “Q”  because of Jian Ghomeshi.
  • “University of Western Ontario journalism students heard interning at Q was “off limits” over concerns about host Jian Ghomeshi’s “inappropriate” behaviour.”
  • (CBC, remember before you write this crap this crap, you let this guy hire interns
    giving you a pretty shaking track record) 
CBC needs to get off their high horse and admit their intern problem is a whole lot worse than Ottawa’s. The unpaid internship is clearly effecting both the feds, and CBC. Contrary to their reporting, CBC has it worse though, and at least in Ottawa paid staffers are having consensual sex with their boss. Whatever happened to the first crop of interns who worked over at “Q”, I would bet they weren't paid, and it wasn't consensual.

CBC, watch out with those rocks, you’re in a glass house on this one.

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