Despite consistently beating the drum for an increased minimum wage, President Obama’s highly organized grassroots organization is offering jobs that don’t pay at all.
“OFA is now accepting applications for full-time and part-time HQ Interns for the Spring 2014 and Summer 2014 HQ Internship Programs in Chicago, IL,” reads the job posting listed at Organizing for Action’s site, BarackObama.com.
“This is a 14-week, unpaid internship program,” continues the listing.
OFA, which describes itself as the nonprofit organization established to advance the national agenda Americans voted for when they re-elected President Obama in 2012, says it seeks candidates “with a strong commitment to changing the world.”
“HQ Interns will have the unique opportunity to work closely with staff in advancing the President’s agenda. Departmental placements available include Grassroots Organizing, Training, Issue Campaigns, Digital, Press and Finance.”
An older posting for an OFA internship position in Washington, D.C. offers candidates the ability to choose between a 10 hour-per-week track and a 40 hour-per-week track.
But these unpaid gigs touted by OFA sit in stark contrast to the organization’s position — also held by President Obama and many Democrats — on the minimum wage. “No one who works full time in America should have to live in poverty,” reads another OFA advertisement which encourages people to “tell Congress to raise the minimum wage.”
“Raising the minimum wage is good for workers and good for the economy,” the ad continues.
In his State of the Union address earlier this year, Obama backed an increased minimum wage tied to inflation.
“Even with the tax relief we’ve put in place, a family with two kids that earns the minimum wage still lives below the poverty line. That’s wrong,” said Obama.
“Let’s declare that in the wealthiest nation on earth, no one who works full time should have to live in poverty,” he said.
The topic of unpaid internships has recently become a hot-button issue and one which liberal organizations are struggling with given the reality of their budgets versus their ideological position on the topic.
Recently, Vice magazine documented several liberal news publications that rely on unpaid internships, despite editorial positions in favor of a living wage and an increased minimum wage.
According to Vice, one former intern for Mother Jones, a liberal magazine, confessed to having “slept on an air mattress for six months while I worked there because I couldn’t afford a real one.” Another intern told Vice that in their first meeting as a Mother Jones intern they were advised by human resources to sign up for food stamps.
Vice also identified The American Prospect and The New Republic — two left-of-center publications — as outlets providing unpaid internships.
Organizing for Action did not return multiple requests for comment from The Daily Caller News Foundation.
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