Fast Food

Subway's minimum wage 'sandwich artist' apprenticeship slammed by union

Lauren Simonetti has the details

 

Subway may be known for its toasty bread but in the UK, the chain is feeling some serious heat after a help wanted post surfaced online seeking young “apprentices” to work at the store building subs-- for substantially less pay than traditional employees.

In an advertisement (which has since been removed) posted on the UK "Government’s Find Apprenticeship" site, applicants were being sought to work as “apprentice sandwich artists,” reports The Independent. 

The ad posits to potential applicants,“Do you have what it takes to be a sandwich artist for one of the leading fast food restaurants in the world?

“As a sandwich artist you will greet and serve guests, prepare food and maintain food safety and sanitation standards.”

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According to the listing, it takes 14 months to complete an apprenticeship in making Subway sandwiches.

Candidates were being offered 119 pounds per week (about $148.95) to work from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. five days a week — which is the minimum employers are required to pay apprentices (or interns) by law in the UK.

But to many critics of the post, the job description appeared to have very little educational value for young workers as the apprentices would be doing similar duties as average Subway employees — working the cash register, food preparation and cleaning up.

Union leaders said Subway's use of “apprentice” title stretched the limits of what should be acceptable and said the job appeared to be an “exploitation charter by unscrupulous bosses to hire young people on the cheap.”

“If the government is serious about making apprenticeships work, than it must act to stop rogue employers using the apprenticeship scheme as a cheap form of labor. We certainly don’t expect rich multi-nationals like Subway to be exploiting young people in this way,” Unite national officer Rhys McCarthy told the Chronicle Live.

McCarthy wasn't the only voice to sound off against the chain's job posting, with many online blasting Subway for appearing to seek out cheap, young labor.

 

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When contacted by the Chronicle Live, a spokeswoman for Subway’s representatives said, “The franchisee of this store was unaware of this advert which was posted by a recruitment agency. Together we are working to have this advert removed immediately.

"Subway requires that all franchisees comply with employment law when recruiting and contracting, and in all dealings with, employees.”

Subway was not immediately available for comment when contacted by Fox News.