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Poll: Are Roberta's Farming Unpaid Internships Terrible or Not?

The internet is exploding! New York's favorite restaurant, Roberta's Pizza has posted an ad offering an unpaid internship to work at their farm, DNAinfo writes

Roberta's Farm (photo via Roberta's Tumblr: http://robertas.tumblr.com/)

The internet is exploding! New York's favorite restaurant, Roberta's Pizza has posted an ad offering an unpaid internship to work at their farm, DNAinfo writes. Somebody got really pissed off and posted these flyers all around the Morgantown giving a big "Fuck you" to a restaurant that hosted the Clintons but cannot pay for a part-time intern job. We want to know what you think, Bushwick.

Let's take a look what does Roberta's ad actually say. Roberta's farm slaves interns/volunteers' activities will include "producing fruits, vegetables, and edible flowers; assisting in teaching school groups and the public about the garden; helping to maintain our bee hives as well as harvest honey; building and maintaining the compost; working with hydroponic systems; helping with carpentry projects, such as building planter boxes and hoop houses." Roberta's requires a commitment of 16 hours/week for 2 months, and as a compensation offers "learning how to run an urban farm for a restaurant, being in a very fun environment, working with creative chefs, meeting other urban farmers and getting acquainted with NY's farming community. Free lunch every time you work (pizza)."

The anonymous "Fuck You" flyers on the street points out that Roberta's "is attempting to profit off of free labor of so-called "interns" in running their kitchen garden." It further accuses Roberta's of "... having already contributed so greatly to the damaging gentrification of Bushwick, is Roberta's so greedy as to exploit workers and flout labor laws, just to save a measly few bucks an hour? Show Roberta's you won't stand for the continuing exploitation of young workers in the form of unpaid 'Internships!'"

So what do you think, Bushwick? Is this intolerable behavior from New York's most trendy pizza joint? Does working at a farm for free stink of feudalism? Or is this just another symptom of the world of unpaid internships that New York is so famous for, especially given the current economy? Or to look at it from another angle, could it be actually nice from Roberta's to give us a chance to work in the fresh air and be in contact with a growing garden? In New York, this certainly can't be taken for granted. I mean, what if Roberta's called it "A Series of Farming Workshops" instead of an "Unpaid Internship"? I bet that there would be people who would actually pay to learn farming from the hype restaurant...Anyhow, we are curious what Bushwick thinks. Please vote in our poll!

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