Ad for unpaid busboy internship at Vancouver hotel slammed 0
The BC Federation of Labour says schools need to take a more responsible role when it comes to ensuring their students aren’t taken advantage of via unpaid internships.
The comments come after an advertisement circulating on Twitter showed Vancouver’s Fairmont Waterfront hotel — which has room rates starting at about $300 per night — was looking for a busboy to work as an “unpaid intern.”
The ad was taken down from the Fairmont's website shortly after the Tweet and the hotel said its posting in the careers section was a mistake.
The job advertisement, found on numerous other employment websites, said: “As a busperson, you will take pride in the integral role you play in supporting your food & beverage colleagues and ‘setting the stage’ for a truly memorable meal.”
The ad said applicants must be enrolled in a hospitality program and have the support of their school to apply for the job.
But BC Federation of Labour president Jim Sinclair said working for free is “not OK” and employers are increasingly hiring students as unpaid interns for jobs they would normally pay someone to do.
“It’s another case that points out basically there’s no enforcement of any of this stuff,” said Sinclair. “It gets pretty bad when you’re advertising a practice that’s against the law.”
He said post-secondary institutions are not looking out for the best interests of their students.
“Schools should be supporting students to be treated fairly,” he said. “If a school signs off on this and it is what it appears to be then they’re not doing their job.”
The Fairmont Waterfront did not return phone calls by press time.