Thursday, June 08, 2017

Halliburton wants workers to work for free

Oil industry company Halliburton has been branded “obscene” for advertising unpaid UK internships, which critics say give an unfair advantage to people from privileged backgrounds.

The Texas-based oilfield services company, which reported revenues of $16bn (£12bn) last year, said the full-time positions were part of an unpaid work experience programme. 

Justin Madders, Labour MP for Ellesmere Port and Neston, said young people from less wealthy backgrounds might not be able to afford to take unpaid roles instead of a part-time job.
“For one of the richest companies in the world to be taking on full-time employees without pay says everything you need to know about what is wrong with the attitude of some big businesses to being ethical employer,” Madders said. “They should hang their heads in shame. There really can be no justification for such outrageous exploitation. 
Interns in the UK are entitled to the national minimum wage unless they are under 16 or are taking part in a student internship for less than a year as part of a school or university course.
Tanya de Grunwald, the founder of Graduate Fog, said it was unclear how the roles fitted in with university courses. “Halliburton is worth billions – it’s outrageous they’re asking their young staff to work for free when they can more than afford to pay the living wage. Certainly, few big UK firms would make this mistake in 2017.
“If this is a proper student placement it should be clearly labelled as such, include a clear start and end date, and be advertised through universities who will ensure it meets the requirements for course credit. You can’t just call something a student placement to justify it being unpaid.”

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