England

Mooboo bubble tea firm scraps unpaid 40-hour training

"Coming soon" Mooboo store Image copyright Google
Image caption Mooboo has branches around the UK

A cafe criticised for making trainees work unpaid for 40 hours, without a guaranteed job, has given in to public pressure.

Mooboo Bubble Tea - which sells the Taiwanese drink topped with tapioca balls - was attacked on social media and by campaign groups.

A petition to demand it pay staff properly collected more than 40,000 signatures.

In a statement, Mooboo said trainees would now be paid "company set levels".

Emails outlining the original terms were leaked to campaign organisation 38 Degrees.

Gordon Maloney from the group said it was an "outrageous way for MooBoo Bubble Tea to exploit people looking for work".

Image copyright Shea Wong

He welcomed the "turnaround" but said it was "very important to us that people who have worked for the chain for free under this policy should also be recompensed".

The company has branches in London, Birmingham, Bradford, Coventry, Gateshead, Hatfield, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester and Glasgow.

Successful interview applicants were offered 40 hours training, but warned this did not guarantee a job.

Mooboo said in a statement: "In view of the recent feedbacks, we are prepared to implement a new training process which all trainees will be paid according to our company set levels once the trainee has entered into our training contract."

Image copyright Ian Mearns

It later confirmed to campaign group Betterthanzero that all staff would be paid at least the minimum wage from "the first hour".

The furore over the training contract led to other cafes being confused with the firm.

Bubble Boba in Coventry "suffered vandalism to our shop, slander and abuse to our staff", it said.

Directors Neil and Kristin McCoy-Ward said it was now "Mooboo's duty to set the example and follow UK regulations and pay bubble tea artists correctly for their work".

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