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New PSI Briefing Outlines Growing Global Campaign Against Unpaid Internships

27 February 2017
A new PSI Briefing released today outlines the campaign against unpaid internships and discusses the role which trade-unions can play in defending the rights of young workers engaged in intern positions.

The report’s release comes a week after the Global Intern Strike: an international series of events which highlighted the growing organisation of intern rights groups and their willingness to adopt labour movement strategies to push for change.



The briefing discusses the role which PSI has played in pressuring the UN to pay their interns and reinstate entry level positions after it was revealed that the organisation employs over 2200 interns a year amounting to over a million hours of unpaid labour. While a change in policy at the UN would provide a strong symbol to employers world-wide, PSI is now expanding the scope of the campaign beyond the international sector to examine how interns are treated within government institutions and public services across the world.

A series of recent studies highlight the increased reliance on intern labour across the public and private sectors and many different regions of the globe. A particularly concerning example was revealed in Italy last year, where the Public Education Ministry made a deal with a number of multinational corporations to funnel high-school students out of classrooms and into unpaid internships for companies such as McDonald’s, under the guise of work experience.

PSI is seeking to coordinate with affiliates who would like to extend union representation to the intern workforce. Internships are increasingly the first step for young people into the wider labour market and PSI believes that if unions increase our involvement on this issue and other forms of precarious work, we can demonstrate our relevance and forge potentially life-long connections with emerging generations of workers.

Download the full briefing via the attachment below:

To find out more about our work on internships or to join the campaign, contact:
Campaigns: sandra.vermuyten @ world-psi.org
Young Workers: cedric.depollier @ world-psi.org
Communications: leo.hyde @ world-psi.org

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