Home Kent News Pret a Manger staff ‘to strike’ as temporary COVID pay cut permanent

Pret a Manger staff ‘to strike’ as temporary COVID pay cut permanent

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Original article from Kent Live

Pret a Manger staff have been told their temporary COVID pay cut will now be made permanent.

The popular café chain announced last September in a bid to cut down costs that it would not be paying workers for their breaks.

However, due to business remaining "significantly below" pre-COVID levels, Pret has now confirmed the decision has been made permanent.

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It was also separately announced that the coffee giant will continue to offer a service bonus at a reduced rate, as the Mirror reports.

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This has since been reversed, and the full rate will return from this September.

After being scrapped last year, the service bonus was reintroduced at 50p an hour this April, which is down from £1 before the pandemic struck.

In an email to staff, Pret's chief executive Pano Christou said: "The business is still in recovery but it's important that we continue to invest in and support our teams however we can.

"The most important thing for me throughout the last year has been to protect as many Pret jobs as we can."

The Guardian has reported that staff are considering strike action following the changes.

Pret has declined to comment on whether staff were planning to walk out.

During the pandemic the coffee chain has struggled as many workers have not returned to offices, therefore meaning the sales from commuters they would usually get have been impacted.

In the UK last year, as many as 74 coffee shops were closed.

In an attempt to entice customers back, Pret launched several new initiatives which included a £20 monthly loyalty scheme and a new partnerships with Tesco.

A Pret spokesman said: “Like others in the hospitality industry, the pandemic had a big impact on our business, so last year we adjusted our business model.

“This included a review of all contracts and benefits, after which some changes were made. The business is still trading significantly below pre-pandemic levels, but we continue to review our benefits.

“This is in no way a reflection of the hard work of our teams, and we’re incredibly grateful for their dedication and commitment.”

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Original Article