Two former interns have filed complaints with government against Bell Mobility, alleging the telecom giant broke labour laws by not paying them for work they did for the company.Thankfully, it's CBC reportage so...
“It felt like I was sitting in an office as an employee, doing regular work. It didn’t feel like a sort of training program,” said Jainna Patel, 24, who was an unpaid intern with Bell for five weeks last year.
“They just squeezed out of you every hour they could get and never showed any intent of paying.”
Jainna Patel says her internship with Bell Mobility was no different from an entry-level job, plus overtime, except that she didn't get a paycheque.
She filed a complaint with federal authorities in May 2012, which has yet to be resolved.
Patel and others were "associates" in a Bell program that invites 280 post-secondary grads per year to work voluntarily in Bell’s Mississauga, Ont., complex, for three to four months at a time, on projects that are supposed to enhance their future careers.
Toronto lawyer Andrew Langille has studied the laws regarding internships and has helped interns with claims against several Canadian companies.So interships weren't an integral part of higher education for ever and ever and ever?
Overall, he estimates up to 300,000 young people are now working as unpaid interns in Canada. He suggests the vast majority of those arrangements are illegal.
“My estimates are somewhere above 90 per cent should be paid and they are not being paid,” said Langille.
“We’ve seen explosive growth within intern culture in the last 10 years in Canada and particularly in the wake of the global financial crisis,” he said.