Endemic Levels Of Exploitation



Members of the Work Must Pay campaign group outside The Porterhouse on Nassau Street, Dublin in September, after the company advertised for a Restaurant Operations Manager through JobBridge. The job advert was later removed and Work Must Pay received confirmation that The Porterhouse would no longer advertise through JobBridge 

You may recall the campaign group Work Must Pay.

Its members have been protesting outside businesses which use JobBridge to hire staff.


The group has ceased campaigning in Dublin…for now.

They write:

“A brief scroll through the #WMP Campaign Updates page will provide enough evidence to show that directly challenging businesses was a very effective way of knocking out JobBridge placements.”

“The reasons for this were established in correspondence with exploiters where it became apparent that: (1) most were taking on a JobBridge intern because they didn’t expect it to become public knowledge, (2) they regarded free labour as an entitlement because their competitors also used it. Making it public knowledge that a company was using JobBridge usually shook their confidence and then the subsequent #WMP protest convinced them that it really wasn’t worth it.”

“…Our FOI request highlighted that over 16 thousand businesses and organisations have used JobBridge interns. This points towards an endemic level of exploitation which has permeated every sector of employment and even included unionised workplaces.”

“We never claimed that #WMP was a solution; just that it would eliminate internships, build confidence among young activists and educate young workers about their rights. However, a response to this problem is still badly needed nationally.”

Many unions have publicly condemned JobBridge but their organised workplaces have used interns and these employers haven’t been challenged. It is obvious that this situation needs to be remedied immediately.”

“Regarding political parties, the danger is that JobBridge will not be abolished but ‘reformed’ into a ‘fairer’ system down the line. We view this as an unacceptable argument as unpaid labour has lowered the bar so far that young workers now aspire to a minimum wage and view anything above it as an unexpected bonus.”

“The very nature of work, what we expect from it and our rights has been changed by JobBridge.”

#WorkMustPay: A Campaign Ends, The Struggle Remains (Work Must Pay)

Previously: You Pay Noodles

38 thoughts on “Endemic Levels Of Exploitation

  1. Neilo

    Exploitation = coercion or fraud. If either of these conditions are absent, exploitation it ain’t . Don’t get me wrong, JobBridge is not being deployed in a wholly equitable way, to put it mildly.

      1. Neilo

        Gee, I dunno, a little life experience? I don’t claim to be any kind of oracle: we’re all allowed opinions here. I probably should have added a mild disclaimer in the original post.

      2. Neilo

        @Jungleman re yours below: fair play, sorry for any crossed wires or dickishness on my part! I agree that JobBridge is distinctly sub-optimal

      1. TheFerg

        From the Oxford Dictionary:
        The action or fact of treating someone unfairly in order to benefit from their work
        ‘the exploitation of migrant workers’

        €50 for a week’s work is exploitation.

        Fair play folks, keep up the campaign!!

          1. jungleman

            The scheme was set up in such a way that it is in itself an abuse, in my opinion.

            Your definition of exploitation was a bit off point and it just seemed a bit unnecessary for you to take that approach. Hence I told you to “stop”, i.e. Stop digging.

    1. James

      Neilo, perhaps you’re commenting just to get a reaction but if you’re going to define what exploitation is, Googling defines it as the following:

      “the action or fact of treating someone unfairly in order to benefit from their work.”

      But doesn’t give a source. If you go to the Oxford English Dictionary (I’ll help you by giving you a link: http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/exploitation ) it has the very same definition.

      Why put the effort into joining a debate that hinges on a definition if you won’t even check the definition? I’m genuinely confused as your argument is dead once somebody checks.

      1. Neilo

        Ah no, as I said above to moyest: if participants are forced into the scheme, I’d say that’s in the broad area of coercion. That’s unfair treatment to the letter and now, sure, it’s exploitation. Thanks!

        1. Joni2015

          Why are you trying to retrospectively justify your definition. You came in here full of authority and bluster demeaning this group for their incorrect choice of word.

          You’ve been shown to be 100% wrong so just admit it.

          xploitation = coercion or fraud. If either of these conditions are absent, exploitation it ain’t

          1. Neilo

            Bluster is a fair call you’ve made there, joni, and I have been a tad pompous. I don’t hold any animus against the group and as I’ve said: I’m no fan of the scheme. There’s no harm in teasing out these things

          2. Neilo

            The thing fell apart because I used ‘or’ instead of ‘and’. Wrong, no doubt about it! No wonder I got leapt on. Jayzus. Must proofread before I post.

          3. Joni2015

            That doesnt make any sense to me given the second sentence. You didn’t know what exploitation meant an hour ago. Now you do. Move on.

  2. Clampers Outside!

    If passing, why not stick your head in and say you have a message for the manager, that you are going next door/up the road for lunch because of the JobBridge advert.

    Just to let the management know how serious this is.

  3. dhaughton99

    What happened Reads on Nassau st. Went down this morning for some stuff and its now an Easons. No way am I paying Eason prices. Now thats exploitation.

      1. Eliot Rosewater

        And the 10% off offer they had was bogus: they upped the conversion rate by 10% and then gave you 10% ‘off’. Always worth checking the conversion rate of shops that seem like they’re giving you a deadly offer. Another bookshop, on Parnell Street, which is all about the ‘savings’ has a mad conversion rate. Interestingly, once you take the money off, the price is about what the book should be.

        1. meadowlark

          Easons are a nasty shower. Worked in the book trade for a long time and I have no respect for how they do business. They have an effective monopoly on bookshops in Ireland and they offer a substandard selection of books and have poor customer service. I could go on but it makes me ill ans I’d like to finish my lunch.

          1. Kieran NYC


            The stores feel cheap and nasty and have the limited selection of an airport bookshop, but they charge premium prices.

  4. Anomanomanom

    There’s loads of schemes that exploit people. I personally know someone working in a crèche, she does 37.5 hours and gets paid €215. The creche only contributes €75 of this. Yes the welfare are saving money by not paying the full amount of social welfare but to expect someone to work for that amount for a full week is outrageous.

    1. Clampers Outside!

      It is wrong, but I look at from the other side. it’s not that we taxpayers save money on welfare, it’s that we taxpayers are subsidising the low pay of that company with the €75.

      Welfare payments are subsidies to companies who pay badly, more than they are payments to people on crappy wages.
      Have a look at how it has spiralled out of control in the USA. It’s easily googled.

  5. Eoin

    Well I’m gonna have to boycott the Porterhouse(S) now until this stops. Jobsbridge is undermining the entire services industry. Is this our ‘economic recovery’?

    1. Cup of tea anyone

      I think it was dropped in September. I don’t think they should be bringing it up again if they have.

  6. Jackdaw

    Is there free pints of plain with the job. If so I’ll do it. In fact I’ll do it without the extra €50.

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