Campaigners Call Out Jo Swinson Over Unpaid Work Hypocrisy

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Local campaigners have called on Jo Swinson to show consistency in her attitude towards unpaid work and have highlighted her conflicting positions on the issue.

Yesterday the Employment Relations minister launched a new initiative aimed at ensuring young interns are properly paid. (This despite the Liberal Democrat party being the only party at Westminster offering completely unpaid work ‘experience’), The LibDem MP also threatened to name and shame companies which fall foul of the law on minimum wage adding:  

” They shouldn’t stop companies offering work experience. Internships can be a really great start in somebody’s career, but if you’re being treated as a worker then you should be paid as a worker, at least the minimum wage.

“We want to make sure people still have exciting opportunities but there also isn’t exploitation going on.”

Local campaigners in  East Dunbartonshire  are however, furious at what they see as blatant hypocrisy from Ms Swinson. They point out that she enthusiastically promotes unpaid work in her own constituency and has given her full support to Workfare schemes.  

The Dunbartonshire Green Party and Campsie branch of the Scottish Socialist Party have came together to condemn Ms Swinson for this hypocrisy.

Ross Greer, convenor of Dunbartonshire Greens and a former Member of the Scottish Youth Parliament said:

“This hypocrisy from Jo Swinson is more than disappointing, it’s insulting. Young people in Scotland are being hammered by her government’s policies and Workfare is a perfect example of this. Instead of investing in the economy to create more jobs, Westminster forces our young people into unpaid work experience placements. This system allows companies to hold back from employing new paid staff as they can take on these young people for no cost instead. This creates a vicious circle of lost opportunities for young people in need of real, paid employment.”

Neil Scott, spokesperson for the Campsie SSP said:

“While Jo Swinson’s constituents are forced to pay hundreds of pounds for her heating bill we have to endure damaging and unwanted policies which cost us dear, all coming from a Tory-led government that we did not elect. Jo cannot campaign with a clear conscious against unpaid internships on one hand whilst advocating unpaid work placements on the other. This is yet another example of Scotland getting the opposite of what it votes for at Westminster. These are decisions we are more than capable of taking for ourselves and for the sake of those suffering right now, they are decisions we cannot afford not to take for ourselves.”