Pret restores staff bonus after workers threatened to strike

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Pret a Manger reformed its intention to cut staff bonuses in a partial U-turn on proposed pay cuts after workers threatened to strike.

However, the coffee shop chain has not reversed its decision to stop paying for break times, so a worker on an eight-hour shift, including a legally required half-hour break, will still see a pay cut of just over 6% per year. shift v pre-pandemic levels.

Pret workers, the vast majority of whom earn a base wage of the legal minimum of £ 8.91 an hour, threatened to cut back on their tools this week after learning that a temporary reduction in paid breaks would be made permanent.

A service bonus, tied to performance judged by a mystery shopper, was dropped last summer and reintroduced in April this year at 50 pence per hour, up from £ 1 before the pandemic. Workers were told last week that the change would also be made permanent.

The city centers it serves have been emptied of their workers during the pandemic, Pret has been under severe financial pressure. The company has abandoned its payment of dividends to shareholders and in April warned of “significant uncertainties” about its ability to continue operating. The pay cuts were part of a cost reduction program.

But on Thursday, after planned salary changes sparked an uproar on social media, Pret a Manger boss Pano Christou told staff the mystery shopper bonus was being reset to £ 1 a year. hour after taking into account the “comments” of the staff.

“The company is still recovering, but it is important that we continue to invest and support our teams as we can. I have spent over 20 years working for Pret and have spent a lot of time working in our stores so know how important the mystery shopper bonus is to everyone and it is something that sets it apart Competition loan, ”he said in an email to the workers.

He added: “… unfortunately it is taking longer than we had hoped to bring sales back to what they were before the pandemic, which is why we had to make some tough decisions about how we reward. our hard-working teams. “

A staff member involved in the strike slated for next month said the new deal was a ‘good improvement’ but still wondered whether to continue his action as paid breaks had not been reinstated .

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Another worker said he was prompted to consider measures as the salary became increasingly difficult, in part because of a subscription service introduced a year ago that allows members to get up to ‘to five coffees a day for a monthly fee of £. 20 fresh.

“With the coffee subscription, we have more work. No more effort. No more stress. People never stop going for free coffee, but our terms as employees come back instead …

“Now there is no longer any difference in working between a Pret a Manger and a [another coffee shop]. I love my job but we want our conditions to improve or at least be the same.


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