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 Post subject: Internships
PostPosted: Wed October 23, 2013 4:37 pm 
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I suppose this is related to the union thread, but I'm thinking this is fine in its own thread. Anyone have opinions on it? I'm growing far more skeptical of this odd exception to the FLSA, and this tweet really sums it up in my mind right now:



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 Post subject: Re: Internships
PostPosted: Wed October 23, 2013 5:19 pm 
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It's a huge problem that helps reproduce class barriers in American society.

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 Post subject: Re: Internships
PostPosted: Wed October 23, 2013 5:26 pm 
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Interns are fun to kick though.

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 Post subject: Re: Internships
PostPosted: Wed October 23, 2013 5:28 pm 
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stip wrote:
It's a huge problem that helps reproduce class barriers in American society.


One of your favorite news sites, the progressive truthout.org (which allegedly is for the middle class and more economic equality0, fired many senior staff to hire on interns for free.


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 Post subject: Re: Internships
PostPosted: Wed October 23, 2013 5:54 pm 
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that's a huge problem that helps reproduce class barriers in society.


Although in their case their funding may be so tight that this was actually necessary for survival.

Still...

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 Post subject: Re: Internships
PostPosted: Wed October 23, 2013 9:01 pm 
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stip wrote:
It's a huge problem that helps reproduce class barriers in American society.

Of all the problems this counts as huge? Even though I think all interns should be paid if someone wants to give away their labour for free because they feel like they are getting something out of it, let them.

Should all volunteers be paid as well? I know my son and many of his friends do volunteer work to support their future career paths. Is this helping to reproduce class barriers?


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 Post subject: Re: Internships
PostPosted: Wed October 23, 2013 9:07 pm 
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Do you really not see the difference?

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 Post subject: Re: Internships
PostPosted: Wed October 23, 2013 9:11 pm 
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Real quick, since I'm leaving, but insofar as internships are becoming necessary for entry level employment, making them unpaid essentially shuts out (or makes entry) much more difficult for people who cannot afford to work a job for free. People who have savings or other people/means to support themselves therefore get a leg up.

They also (similar to adjunct faculty in colleges--residency I feel slightly different about since residency is an internship that is likely to lead to definite employment, plus it is paid) end up enabling larger businesses to avoid hiring people as employees if they can rely on a free pool of labor.


Volunteering can also give someone an advantage if they have time to volunteer, but there are limits to what can be helped. I suspect that volunteer positions are also not formalized and treated like unpaid labor.

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 Post subject: Re: Internships
PostPosted: Wed October 23, 2013 9:14 pm 
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Fuck You Jobu wrote:
stip wrote:
It's a huge problem that helps reproduce class barriers in American society.


One of your favorite news sites, the progressive truthout.org (which allegedly is for the middle class and more economic equality0, fired many senior staff to hire on interns for free.
stip wrote:
Although in their case their funding may be so tight that this was actually necessary for survival.

Still...
It seems that several leftish organizations have gotten caught in this hypocritical trap. Glad they've been called out on it.

Meanwhile, in the interest of fairness here's an opposing view from one of my favorite bloggers:

http://joshblackman.com/blog/2011/04/03 ... ternships/


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 Post subject: Re: Internships
PostPosted: Wed October 23, 2013 9:32 pm 
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stip wrote:
Do you really not see the difference?

I don't have facts in front of me but my guess is that there are numerous times the number of volunteers than there are people on unpaid internships. That would be a big difference.

Say internships started paying minimum wage. How many of your class disadvantaged examples are going to take the minimum wage internship job over a higher paying three month job? Possibly they stay class disadvantaged because they make the wrong, short term choices over and over.

Internships are normally for jobs where the person is attending or has just graduated university. Am I supposed to act like a recent or soon to be university graduate is part of the long term class barrier problem? I think you should have more faith in higher education.


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 Post subject: Re: Internships
PostPosted: Wed October 23, 2013 9:50 pm 
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surfndestroy wrote:
stip wrote:
Do you really not see the difference?

I don't have facts in front of me but my guess is that there are numerous times the number of volunteers than there are people on unpaid internships. That would be a big difference.

Say internships started paying minimum wage. How many of your class disadvantaged examples are going to take the minimum wage internship job over a higher paying three month job? Possibly they stay class disadvantaged because they make the wrong, short term choices over and over.

Internships are normally for jobs where the person is attending or has just graduated university. Am I supposed to act like a recent or soon to be university graduate is part of the long term class barrier problem? I think you should have more faith in higher education.



Yeah, paying food, rent, gas, earning money for tuition next semester. these are the wrong short term choices poor people insist on making.




I don't understand the bit in italics

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 Post subject: Re: Internships
PostPosted: Wed October 23, 2013 10:11 pm 
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stip wrote:
surfndestroy wrote:
stip wrote:
Do you really not see the difference?

I don't have facts in front of me but my guess is that there are numerous times the number of volunteers than there are people on unpaid internships. That would be a big difference.

Say internships started paying minimum wage. How many of your class disadvantaged examples are going to take the minimum wage internship job over a higher paying three month job? Possibly they stay class disadvantaged because they make the wrong, short term choices over and over.

Internships are normally for jobs where the person is attending or has just graduated university. Am I supposed to act like a recent or soon to be university graduate is part of the long term class barrier problem? I think you should have more faith in higher education.



Yeah, paying food, rent, gas, earning money for tuition next semester. these are the wrong short term choices poor people insist on making.




I don't understand the bit in italics

There are laws governing interships. Not all internships are paid. Many internships that are unpaid involve receiving college credit, especially if an internship is correlated with a specific class. The U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division allows an employer not to pay a trainee if all of the following are true:[34]
1.The training, even though it includes actual operation of the facilities of the employer, is similar to what would be given in a vocational school or academic educational instruction;[34]
2.The training is for the benefit of the trainees;[34]
3.The trainees do not displace regular employees, but work under their close observation;[34]
4.The employer that provides the training derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the trainees, and on occasion the employer’s operations may actually be impeded;[34]
5.The trainees are not necessarily entitled to a job at the conclusion of the training period; and[34]
6.The employer and the trainees understand that the trainees are not entitled to wages for the time spent in training.[34]
Taken from wikipedia.

So while you as an educator charge for your services, you feel companies that follow the law should have to pay for providing the same service. It sounds like you want something exactly like exists with more oversight to ensure the rules are followed.


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 Post subject: Re: Internships
PostPosted: Wed October 23, 2013 10:16 pm 
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One place I worked had interns for so long we started calling them temps. Then they were the first ones laid off.

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 Post subject: Re: Internships
PostPosted: Thu October 24, 2013 4:54 am 
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I've never quite understood Internships. We don't have unpaid jobs here in Australia, unless it's something like a volunteer job for a charity.

The closest thing we have would be apprenticeships, which mostly only apply to trades. They start off on the low end of the pay scale, and run for 4 years with a pay increase each year. The end usually results in a full qualification and a permanent job.

These jobs don't normally need a university degree or anything for a person to qualify.

From what I understand, with an Internship someone will get their degree first, and then work for certain amount of time without any pay? Plus they get treated like shit/the lowest rank in the company? Isn't this a form of white collar slavery?

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 Post subject: Re: Internships
PostPosted: Thu October 24, 2013 9:06 am 
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Sgt. Crackpot wrote:
I've never quite understood Internships. We don't have unpaid jobs here in Australia, unless it's something like a volunteer job for a charity.

The closest thing we have would be apprenticeships, which mostly only apply to trades. They start off on the low end of the pay scale, and run for 4 years with a pay increase each year. The end usually results in a full qualification and a permanent job.

These jobs don't normally need a university degree or anything for a person to qualify.

From what I understand, with an Internship someone will get their degree first, and then work for certain amount of time without any pay? Plus they get treated like shit/the lowest rank in the company? Isn't this a form of white collar slavery?


yup

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 Post subject: Re: Internships
PostPosted: Thu October 24, 2013 9:10 am 
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surfndestroy wrote:
stip wrote:
surfndestroy wrote:
stip wrote:
Do you really not see the difference?

I don't have facts in front of me but my guess is that there are numerous times the number of volunteers than there are people on unpaid internships. That would be a big difference.

Say internships started paying minimum wage. How many of your class disadvantaged examples are going to take the minimum wage internship job over a higher paying three month job? Possibly they stay class disadvantaged because they make the wrong, short term choices over and over.

Internships are normally for jobs where the person is attending or has just graduated university. Am I supposed to act like a recent or soon to be university graduate is part of the long term class barrier problem? I think you should have more faith in higher education.



Yeah, paying food, rent, gas, earning money for tuition next semester. these are the wrong short term choices poor people insist on making.




I don't understand the bit in italics

There are laws governing interships. Not all internships are paid. Many internships that are unpaid involve receiving college credit, especially if an internship is correlated with a specific class. The U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division allows an employer not to pay a trainee if all of the following are true:[34]
1.The training, even though it includes actual operation of the facilities of the employer, is similar to what would be given in a vocational school or academic educational instruction;[34]
2.The training is for the benefit of the trainees;[34]
3.The trainees do not displace regular employees, but work under their close observation;[34]
4.The employer that provides the training derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the trainees, and on occasion[b] the employer’s operations may actually be impeded;[34][/b]
5.The trainees are not necessarily entitled to a job at the conclusion of the training period; and[34]
6.The employer and the trainees understand that the trainees are not entitled to wages for the time spent in training.[34]
Taken from wikipedia.

So while you as an educator charge for your services, you feel companies that follow the law should have to pay for providing the same service. It sounds like you want something exactly like exists with more oversight to ensure the rules are followed.


Some internships are college classes. Hardly the same thing. Also not 40 hours a week, etc.

Number 4 is often a joke. If your job is really nothing more than shadowing someone around for a few hours a week this is the case. Many internships end up essentially duplicating what could be paid work, and then they do become a type of indentured servitude.

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 Post subject: Re: Internships
PostPosted: Thu October 24, 2013 9:31 am 
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I have no idea whether our system is different to yours. It's a pretty well established fact that over here, internships are only an option for those who have independent finances, usually provided by their parents. And like it or not, that contributes towards class divides.

Volunteering is a completely different thing, often taken up in a field different to that which you are employed in, with much less responsibility, and less commitment. Maybe commitment is the wrong word. I volunteer, and everyone is there because they want to be there, but it's also implicitly understood that actual employment, family and other caring commitments may need to be prioritised.

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 Post subject: Re: Internships
PostPosted: Thu October 24, 2013 9:52 am 
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Sarah. wrote:
I have no idea whether our system is different to yours. It's a pretty well established fact that over here, internships are only an option for those who have independent finances, usually provided by their parents. And like it or not, that contributes towards class divides.

Volunteering is a completely different thing, often taken up in a field different to that which you are employed in, with much less responsibility, and less commitment. Maybe commitment is the wrong word. I volunteer, and everyone is there because they want to be there, but it's also implicitly understood that actual employment, family and other caring commitments may need to be prioritised.



presumably people who do internships in the UK have chosen to have independent finances. The problem with the poor in the US is that they've idiotically chosen to not be financially independent, which makes it harder for them to do the things that will enable them to become financially independent.

I'm speaking broadly here, obviously, but Americans don't see poverty, privation, etc. as a structural issue. The see it is a matter of choice, usually one laden with moral implications (if you can't afford to take an unpaid internship it is because you made BAD choices prior to this point, and therefore your hardships are totally deserved).

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 Post subject: Re: Internships
PostPosted: Thu October 24, 2013 9:57 am 
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Green Habit wrote:
Fuck You Jobu wrote:
stip wrote:
It's a huge problem that helps reproduce class barriers in American society.


One of your favorite news sites, the progressive truthout.org (which allegedly is for the middle class and more economic equality0, fired many senior staff to hire on interns for free.
stip wrote:
Although in their case their funding may be so tight that this was actually necessary for survival.

Still...
It seems that several leftish organizations have gotten caught in this hypocritical trap. Glad they've been called out on it.

Meanwhile, in the interest of fairness here's an opposing view from one of my favorite bloggers:

http://joshblackman.com/blog/2011/04/03 ... ternships/



regarding this piece:
Quote:
College students with no experience are not particularly valuable. Usually, they are a liability, and require extensive training and supervision to make sure they don’t screw things up too bad. Were interns to demand a salary at minimum wage, employers would be better to not hire them in the first place. I suppose that is what the author of this piece would prefer. The only way it makes sense to employ them is gratis.


well of course, but this doesn't actually negate the core of the argument. The emphasis on internships end up reinforcing class divides

Quote:
Next, students are “dejected” to work unpaid, and are “paying for the privilege” to work. Wow. Shocker. Teenagers are unhappy with having to work. Amazing. Well I’m sure they can certainly flip burgers at McDonalds or some such position that pays. But, for some reason, these students, wisely, are investing in their future. As for the fact that they “pay[] for the privilege,” the article is on to something, in part.


this seems like a pretty smug and probably willful misunderstanding of the core issue. Are there people who resent working for free? I'm sure there are. Lots of people resent working for a salary, too. The issue is whether or not you can AFFORD to work unpaid.

Quote:
Umm… even if the student was earning minimum wage (about the highest salary he could probably command, unless he possessed some special skills), he would still need to crash on couches. You can’t live in a foreign city for 3 months on low wages. Whether the salary is $0, o maybe $50 a day, you are still going to be broke. One summer I interned with the Department of Defense in Arlington, VA (away from home). I was making, maybe $7/hr. You cannot live in Arlington, or anywhere in northern Virginia at that salary. I did not know anyone, and had no couches to crash on, nor did I have any family members nearby. My employer made no effort to help find a place for me to live. I had to dip into personal savings just to cover the extravagant rents for those 3 months. Yet the experience was well worth the cost, even if I was in the red for the summer.


that says it all right there. You need to have the 'personal savings' and be able to be in the red 'for the summer' to pull this off.

Quote:
The school provided no guidance, no assessment, and simply made my boss fill out some annoying useless forms. This is merely a ruse to extract money from the most productive students. I suppose that was a preview for real life. This cost should be eliminated, or at the maximum, students should pay some kind of administrative fee for the time and inconvenience of the career services office, you know, emailing forms every few weeks. A 3 month internship where the school does nothing hardly equates to a 3 credit course where a professor is hired to, you know, do some work.



This is probably a fairer complaint, but a pretty separate issue

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 Post subject: Re: Internships
PostPosted: Thu October 24, 2013 10:24 am 
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stip wrote:
Sarah. wrote:
I have no idea whether our system is different to yours. It's a pretty well established fact that over here, internships are only an option for those who have independent finances, usually provided by their parents. And like it or not, that contributes towards class divides.

Volunteering is a completely different thing, often taken up in a field different to that which you are employed in, with much less responsibility, and less commitment. Maybe commitment is the wrong word. I volunteer, and everyone is there because they want to be there, but it's also implicitly understood that actual employment, family and other caring commitments may need to be prioritised.



presumably people who do internships in the UK have chosen to have independent finances. The problem with the poor in the US is that they've idiotically chosen to not be financially independent, which makes it harder for them to do the things that will enable them to become financially independent.

I'm speaking broadly here, obviously, but Americans don't see poverty, privation, etc. as a structural issue. The see it is a matter of choice, usually one laden with moral implications (if you can't afford to take an unpaid internship it is because you made BAD choices prior to this point, and therefore your hardships are totally deserved).

It's not so different over here. There's huge debate on the 'deserving and undeserving' poor. It's all so.... biblical...

Anyway, that's a tangent. We also have the apprenticeship style thing that Sarge was talking about. It tends to be more focused on trades than other fields but it gives some illusion of social mobility (within a fairly limited type of employment). And you would always be paid a wage, although it would be a small one. It is possible to find an employer who will sponsor you through a degree, and even beyond, although I'm willing to bet it's quite rare.

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