To Pano Christou & Clive Schlee,
Clive Schlee, I know you are not the CEO anymore, even though you still present yourself on Twitter as such. You are a non-executive director and I’m sure pretty active in the background. Thank you for your visit yesterday to my blog, I hope you found something useful to inspire REAL change, not just sweet-talk.
Pano Christou, as you have deleted your Twitter account on 01. July 2019 after I tweeted Clive’s retirement news to the press as you didn’t see the need to inform them yourself (you’re welcome!) I write yet again another blog post.
You have done your typical PR stunt yet again with much success of course. It is very commendable to give free coffees and 50% rebate on food to NHS workers. Everyone agrees, it’s very nice. And NHS staff, Fire Brigade, indeed all carers deserve every break they can get! But …
I tweeted yesterday already to NHS staff that Pret workers are paying for this “generosity” by being sent home unpaid due to low business, as I know how you work. And of course I got shadow banned (censored, Tweets hidden from public view and search).
And then you dropped a bombshell this morning in an email to the shops.
I now have messages coming in on various channels that you even go further in your generosity. This morning you emailed shops wanting all your staff to agree to take 25% pay cuts for up to 3 months or more, or to take unpaid leave.
You already want to force staff to take holidays above their current holiday allowance, and they will then lose their holidays for next year.
You promised your employees you will send DAILY communications to shops on developments in Pret during this terrible virus crisis. Yet, in your typical Pret-style of breaking promises, so far you’ve only sent 2 pieces of information to shops:
- That cutlery now has to be moved behind the counter and regular sanitizing, hand-washing etc. (Of course you bowed to pressure from the public on this, whereas before you didn’t give a toss!)
- Your typical self-idolizing PR stunt, sending press releases on freebies and 50% rebate for NHS workers. And Pret workers are speechless how they themselves are disregarded! One Pret staff called this your typical “PR machine”. Other staff are cursing you out, I can’t repeat here!
I wrote in my other blog post 2 days ago about your Vague Statement and non-specific sweet-talk on precautions during the Coronavirus pandemic. I wrote that Clive should cut his £30 million bonus and give to the workers, so they can pay their rent and not end up on the street and have tax payers pick up the bill!
A courageous act CEO Dan Price has done for his workers, and his company is thriving ever since! Dan Price cut his $1.1 million annual pay down to $70K to raise the minimum wage for ALL his staff to $70K. He will leave a solid legacy behind, built on foundations of truth, integrity and life-changing actions. Dan said he has never regretted it and is happier than ever before. He has healthy and thriving employees! He will not be remembered for the bullshit sweet-talk that brings no change for the better and for which Pret is so known for within its own workforce.
And you have the Pret Foundation Trust that helps homeless people, don’t you? But we former and current Pret staff know it’s mostly for PR! Where is your help, Pano?! Wanting staff to agree to a pay cut of 25% and go on forced holiday which they will then lose the following year? Really?
And if they refuse to take holidays they are bullied by managers and sent into the kitchen or do extra cleaning work. Yes, that does sound very Pret-like! And you sit on millions of pounds and your JAB bosses sit on billions.
You, Pano Chrsitou and all the shareholders could also cut your Million pound salaries and bonuses, to actually do the right thing “naturally”, as Pret always claimed. But you just send little emails about cutlery and your NHS PR stunt. And your low-wage workers are speechless and scared shit-less for their lives, jobs and homes!
“It’s what makes Pret, Pret”
Your staff who are sending these infos to me are disheartened and disgusted at your lack of care and your greed. And I am disgusted that you Pano even use your own child, to manipulate your employees to cut their own needs, so you can continue in your millionaire lifestyle and keep feeding your billionaire bosses Reimann / JAB Holdings!
You know what this reminds me of? Pret having used Lila Warren who supposedly had a brother who died alone in his apartment and wasn’t found for days, just like my brother! Lila then gaslighting and manipulating me until I got fired. If Lila’s story is true or not is not my concern anymore.
But for you Pano, to use your own child to gaslight and manipulate workers to take cuts is utterly perverse and disgusting! You write to shops that your child has asthma and is crying all day not wanting to go to school! Two years ago you emailed back a customer, who complained about the lack of labelling and their fear about allergens after the two customers died. You wrote to the customer that your child has food allergies, and that you know how it is!
I really hope your children have no illnesses and allergies, I even hope you are lying like you all did with Lila Warren. But to produce crocodile tears to make low-wage employees feel sorry for you, using your children’s health condition is utterly disgusting and disturbing! You should be more than ashamed of yourself, Pano! You should have the decency and backbone to not only refrain from using your children in any way to manipulate workers to feel bad, but you should pay them a living wage, protect their jobs, give up some of your own millions and get to work!
You “advise” staff to sign a 25% pay cut, and yet your Managers are pressuring, manipulating and gaslighting workers to sign. Pano, you said that all of you in management are also taking a pay cut, sorry, but you still have MILLIONS left even after a pay cut! You manipulate your staff by saying that other companies are firing people. You say that you don’t fire them but you gaslight them with this “generosity” of a 25% cut!
I have one sentence for Pret A Manger low-wage workers:
PRET NEEDS YOU MORE THAN YOU NEED THEM! WAKE UP!
And for Pret leadership, you should be ashamed as millionaires to “ask” low-wage staff via pressuring and manipulating Managers, to sign a 25% pay-cut and use next years holiday allowance for this year, while giving free coffees and 50% rebates to NHS staff whose job are secure and have FULL wages! You should be deeply and utterly ashamed Pano Christou, Clive Schlee, and the rest of you greedy share holders! And using freebies to NHS workers for your PR, and then letting low-wage staff foot the bill is beyond disgusting! You should be ashamed!
The only good thing about all this is, as your hard working people are even in deeper financial and existential despair now, more and more are joining unions, and they are coming for you! 🙂 ← That’s a real smile not even the Mystery Shopper could have gotten out of me!
Slideshow can be paused
The above slideshow is just a selection, the list goes on in → Pret Staff Complaints.
And extensive accounts of Pret’s systemic bullying behind the facade, also witnessed by customers: Caught in the Act at Pret.
I worked at Pret A Manger and survived systemic workplace bullying during bereavement that involved HR, the top leadership, HQ and even the now “retired” former CEO Clive Schlee. I declined 4 settlement offers if I am silent about my ordeal. But I rather starve and speak out to help others. For an overview of important blog entries of my experience with Pret, please visit “My Ordeal with Pret A Manger”. The little arrow to the right next to each heading will lead directly to the post.
An incomplete list on what other Pret staff say about Pret’s bullying environment: Caught in the Act Bullying at Pret.
I tell my story for the first time verbally in below audio player interview on a podcast by The Adam Paradox, and wrote two articles in the Scottish Left Review.
Thank you for reading/listening.
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