When the soc-cit zone discovered that Calvin Klein was advertising for an unpaid one year, full time, contracted position in their HR department, they decided that they had to take action.
During the past year Soc and Cit has been campaigning along with the TUC against the exploitative practice of unpaid internships. The bottom line is that unpaid internships are illegal because they do not comply with national minimum wage legislation. NUS calculated that if Calvin Klein paid their interns at least the minimum wage their interns would be entitled to almost £12,000, yet they receive nothing.
So NUS gathered student union leaders and students from across the UK and headed over to Calvin Klein to demand that they pay their interns and stop breaking the law. NUS made it very clear that while we applaud companies or organisations that offer internships to students or graduates, we absolutely condemn a policy that closes off opportunities to all but those that can afford to work for free.
NUS has since contacted Calvin Klein’s head office in London to discuss our concerns with them. We are still awaiting a reply, but in the mean time Calvin Klein has removed their unpaid HR internship advertisement.
The Soc and Cit zone is planning more stunts in the weeks and months ahead, so watch this space to get involved.
Contact Vice President Society & Citizenship Dannie Grufferty for more information. Have you seen an unpaid internship advertisement or done an unpaid internship yourself? Tell us at firstname.lastname@example.org.