Mobo criticised over unpaid workers for Glasgow awards

The Hydro The 2013 Mobos will be held at The Hydro in Glasgow on 19 October

The organisers of this year's Music of Black Origin (Mobo) Awards in Glasgow have been accused of exploitation over their use of unpaid workers.

Broadcasting union Bectu has called for anyone with a role in preparing for the event to be paid the minimum wage.

A Mobo spokesman said organisers were inundated with requests from volunteers, and had given experience to some while covering their expenses.

The awards will be held at the city's new Hydro venue on 19 October.

Union 'disappointed'

Bectu has written a letter of complaint over the issue and said it would contact HM Revenue and Customs, which is responsible for enforcing the national minimum wage.

Start Quote

This programme has been designed by Young Scot to help give young people in Scotland, who are unskilled in this area, valuable event and life skills experience”

End Quote Mobo spokesman

The union's general secretary Gerry Morrissey said the Mobo organisers were "steeped" in equality and should not be "exploiting" people.

"Bectu was disappointed to learn that Mobo has recruited interns to work for 12 weeks in a variety of responsible roles," he said.

"For an organisation rooted in the principles of equality we are very disappointed that Mobo is once again seeking to exploit weak enforcement of the national minimum wage by choosing not to pay its interns.

"This situation is even more incredible given the highly commercial nature of the event and its connections to music multi-nationals," said Mr Morrissey's letter.

The union said it had contacted the organisers in 2011 over the use of unpaid volunteers.

A Mobo spokesman said: "We have a huge amount of requests for volunteers.

"To help give unskilled workers the opportunity to work within an entertainment environment and to try and support these requests, we invited a number of volunteers into the office enabling them to be guided by professionals and gain invaluable skills, whilst covering their expenses.

"Now we are in the production stage of the event, we do not have any volunteers helping in the office."

The spokesman said that Mobo had been working with Young Scot to "provide opportunities for a small number of volunteers".

"This programme has been designed by Young Scot to help give young people in Scotland, who are unskilled in this area, valuable event and life skills experience in a high profile, live entertainment environment," he said.

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