Calls to boycott Subway grow as company continues doing business in Russia

‘It’s so disappointing that Subway is spreading Ukrainian blood on their Footlong sandwiches’

Bevan Hurley
Friday 18 March 2022 15:06
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Subway is facing a growing backlash as around 450 of its restaurants continue to operate in Russia, nearly a month into the war in Ukraine.

But the sandwich conglomerate says it is powerless to shut down the stores as they are run by independent franchisees.

After more than 150 US companies withdrew from Russia in response to the unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, there are growing calls on social media for consumers to boycott Subway.

“Don’t support them. They have all the business they deserve in Russia,” Marty Argyle wrote on a post that received more than 6,000 retweets.

Using the hashtag Boycott Subway, former Obama administration official Jon Cooper wrote: “It’s so disappointing that Subway is spreading Ukrainian blood on their Footlong sandwiches.”

Vladimir Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine in February led to many US multi-nationals including McDonald’s, Starbucks, Coca Cola and Pepsi suspending operations.

The swift retaliation has quickly grown to include Disney, Microsoft and Netflix, while Russia has also been frozen out of global financial systems by the likes of Visa and Mastercard.

Burger King has said it wants to suspend its 800 franchise restaurants from opening, but a business partner that controls the company’s franchise in Russia is refusing to comply.

Subway referred The Independent to a statement issued on Wednesday, which said the company said it has “no corporate operations in Russia”.

It said its approximately 450 franchised restaurants in Russia were managed by an independent master franchisee, and it had “limited insight into their day-to-day operations”.

Subway said it was providing meals for Ukrainian refugees and would redirect any profits from Russia to aid humanitarian efforts.

“Our thoughts are with the people of Ukraine, and we are committed to supporting those impacted by the tragic events in the region.”

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