Saturday, February 21, 2009

Libertas Has No Time for Workers' Rights! Interns low wages raise concerns

Concern has been expressed by Catherine Halloran, Political Correspondent with the tabloid Irish Daily Star that Libertas have no regard for workers rights. She is outraged and warns studdents to beware of Libertas. However she got her sums wrong. The hourly rate for working 40 hours a week at €700 a month is only €4.03. This is even lower than the rate of 4.30 which halloran thinks is a violation of workers rights.

If you are a Libertas intern let this blog know what it's like. Email

read Catherine Halloran blog post below

Poor Libertas Interns
Catherine Halloran
Political Correspondent with the Irish Daily Star newspaper in Dublin.
If there is one thing guaranteed to bore the cotton socks off anyone at the moment, it is the mere mention of the Lisbon Treaty - but bear with me!

Workers rights was one of the main issues of contention last June when the Irish turned remarkably frosty towards anything European.

But Declan Ganley's anti-treaty group Libertas really are taking the biscuit when it comes to workers rights - it is looking for interns but is only prepared to pay them a misery €700 a month while they live in Brussels.

Ganley's Libertas is building a European army of interns ahead of this summer's European elections.

And as part of its plan for world domination, it will be taking on interns and full-time staff across Europe.

In their online advertisement they are looking to hire 'highly-qualified and talented students for a period of five months in Brussels'.

But let's look at this more closely. Considering the intern will work at least eight hours a day for five days a week, that gives a working week of 40 hours. With four weeks in a month, that gives the sum total of 160 hours a month.

With a pay packet of €700 a month, that gives an hourly rate of just €4.30 - far, far less than the Minimum Wage.

Students, be warned!

See Ganley address his interns

Interns this may not look as good on your CV as you think. do get in touch email


  1. How hypocritical. You're not blogging on the many UN agencies and countless NGOs that shamelessly employ interns for much less than what Libertas are paying. Often interns work for nothing at those places, in the hope that an internship will lead to a job. The problem isn't Libertas, which at 700 EUR a month is definitely one of the better paid internships I've come across, but the deformalization of work and the proliferation of short-term contracts and the culture of unpaid work that predominates in international organizations and NGOs. Hardly a problem that Libertas is responsible for. A more serious political analysis, rather than meaningless carping, might make this blog a bit more interesting.

  2. cjb you must read the post not just the headline. It is a report of a news article from the Irish Star. I would agree that all these underpaid internships are potentially exploitative. The fact that this party seeks to do likewise is notable. Unlike NGOs the Libertas party has a clause in in its memoranda of association re the funding of organisation that break strikes
    "They are also empowered to "promote freedom of contact" and contribute funds to any body that resists interference in businesses by "any strike movement or organisation". see

  3. It's not a report of a news article. It's a badly written and obvioulsy lightly researched personal blog entry from the "Political Correspondent" of the Daily Star (a newspaper which is hardly renound for it's top notch political reporting!)

    Most interns in Brussels are unpaid, so getting €700 a month ain't a bad gig. Strike breaking or freedom of contract don't come into it.

  4. In Brussels, only the EU quangoes pay their interns more (1,000 €). No one forces these students to work for Libertas, and no single intern seems to have quit the organisation since this blogpost was written...


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