A father and Subway employee lost his job after speaking to a newspaper about what it was like to work 80 hours a week in an attempt to make ends meet. According to the Oregonian, Portland, OR resident Keith Fons was part of a story that ran in the newspaper Nov. 8 about the “challenges low-wage workers face.” The next day, he went into one of the Subway locations that he managed and was promptly terminated.
The 35-year-old makes $11.50 an hour, working as the manager of two Subway locations owned by the same person and has a wife with Multiple Sclerosis and three young children he needs to support. Fons says the lost of one of the job will cost his family $1,400 to $2,000 per month. He says he was given $1,500 by the owner Larry Dennis and presented with a “confidential release agreement” that said he couldn’t sue for back wages. Dennis declined to comment to the newspaper and even hung up on a reporter.
No official reason has been given as to why he was let go from one of his Subway positions, but Michael Dale, the executive director of the Northwest Workers’ Justice Project says that Fons’ termination could have a “chilling effect” on other workers, who may now be scared to speak out about issues they face at work—and they face many challenges.
Fons still works full-time as a manager at another Subway location and is already looking for second job. He feels as if the chain “tossed him to the wolves.” He adds, “I loved working for Subway and customer service.” He then proved his dedication to the job by stopping an “unruly customer who tried to steal money from the tip jar” hours after speaking to the newspaper. Fons punched the customer in the face and the man was arrested and charged with multiple felonies. Fons’ nose was broken during the incident and he now requires surgery. He notes, “The things I’ll do for my job.”
[via The Oregonian]