Prince George homeless get minimum wage for Discover Dinosaurs event

A group of homeless men in Prince George will now be paid minimum wage for working at the Discover the Dinosaurs event earlier this month.

Men were paid $50 per day for working on the Discover the Dinosaurs event

Several Prince George homeless men were recruited to staff an exhibit at the CN Centre last weekend. From left to right is Brian Horth, Quint Parker, Grant Groeneveld, Graham Best, Dakota Fairchild and Norman Coles. (Andrew Kurjata/CBC)

A group of homeless men in Prince George will now be paid minimum wage for working at the Discover the Dinosaurs event earlier this month.

"I called the CEO, I believe, of Helping Hands personally on his cellphone and just explained what happened," said worker Graham Best.

"He feels horrible and said, 'You know what? I want to pay you guys minimum wage,'" he said.

Best said some money has already been delivered, and he has been told the rest is on its way.

Volunteer work?

The issue flared up after the men were hired by the U.S. non-profit Helping Hands, which had a contract to recruit temporary workers for the Discover the Dinosaurs show.

They say they were told they were getting $50 a day for helping set-up and take down the event. That's substantially less than the $84 per day earned when working a regular eight-hour shift at the minimum wage of $10.45 per hour.

But at the time Helping Hands said the $50 was a stipend for volunteers to cover travelling and food expenses for the day. In return the event's organizer would give Helping Hands money to support their charity work in the United States.

But some of the men objected, and told CBC they were taken advantage of.


 
 

With files from Andrew Kurjata

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