A Tweet that unfortunately has been deleted, but is spot on!
I had a VERY proud day! A very, very proud day indeed!
After three and a half years of writing on Pret, mainly staff issues but also other issues, Pret has now disabled commenting for me on their Instagram and Facebook post from yesterday on “we’re hiring”! Why? Because I am causing too much staffing disruption! 💪😎👌
When I started writing in May 2018 former CEO Clive Schlee (whose Twitter account was deleted in July 2020) and Pret never blocked me. I mainly got shadow banned (censored, Tweets and account hidden from the public and from search), but they never blocked me. New CEO Pano Christou when he was the UK Managing Director and then COO blocked me. Christou then deleted his Twitter account in July 2019 when I tweeted the press about Schlee’s “retirement” and linked to Christou’s Twitter account on my blog. Another Pano Christou from Canada later took on the Twitter handle.
But I managed to grab a screenshot of Pano Christou blocking me!
It’s interesting in above former account that Pano wrote “@ Pret” instead of “@Pret” as if to distance himself.
To enlarge the screenshot press ctrl and +
And to decrease it again ctrl and –
He blocked me and now “hides” on Linkedin where toxic positivity rules with a velvet fist, and rich business people tell each other sweet little nothings while ignoring the plight of front-line staff who make them rich! Business people are huddled in their bubble on Linkedin knowing very well how they exploit low-wage staff for their own pockets. Even when I write nice and positive, Pano, Pret and die-hard Pret fans will get me shut down. So far to free speech and Pret’s “open door policiy” to tell them the good, the bad, and the ugly.
On 01. July 2019 Pano deleted his Twitter and later that year another @ChristouPano took that handle:
UPDATE November 2021!
As of 26th November 2021 I’m delighted to say that Pret has FINALLY blocked me on Twitter!!! As Pret shops are in shambles and countless customer complaints flood in which I keep posting on YouTube etc. they finally decided to slam the door! Muhahahahaaaa!!! 😎 🤭 🙂 🙃
And THIS is my last Tweet to Pret which made them block me! It took them 3.5 years to finally see that what I write is trouble for them! Thank you Pret!
But back to the staffing issue.
Why am I so happy that Pret now has disabled commenting for me on their “we’re hiring” post, even though other former staff write their negative experience? Because Pret’s very very desperate for staff and I’m rocking their boat too much.
I’m not sure if Pret completely deleted/hid comments on Instagram or if it’s just my account and computer that can’t see comments anymore. But I managed to grab some screenshots yesterday before Pret booted me out. On Facebook I’m not able to comment, but I can LIKE comments and in this way draw attention to my page! ‹^› (°_°) ‹^›
Instagram “we’re hiring” post with now 0 comments where before they had dozen comments: www.instagram.com/p/CUuE0NLMGio
One former staff replied to me before Pret shut it down, laughing about “flexible hours” and then saying,
“I used to work there for 4 years until it pretty much broke me”.
Another former staff:
And many others that I missed taking screenshots as I didn’t expect Pret to shut it down! It’s the first time that I’m aware of Pret completely disabling and deleting/hiding all comments.
I haven’t checked Facebook today, but a few I grabbed yesterday and managed to “like” but can’t comment:
Quote: “Pret A Manger limited who can comment on this post.”
THANK YOU Pret for finally confirming that you have a lot to hide behind that smiley facade! How do they say in McDonald’s? “I’m loving it!” 😊
So, instead of reporting me, Pret now does the dirty work of censoring themselves! Wash your hands with soap for 30 seconds Pret!
And since Friday where it was 42 comments, Pret must have completely disabled comments now for all.
Some comments on Facebook that Pret leaves in as only good comments would look fishy. Also, see how many people “laugh” about it in the “like” section. Some I recognize as former staff, most likely all of them are former staff, one is even angry:
For people with visual impairment who can’t read screenshots I put a few quotes here that former staff commented on Facebook.
Pret advertises jobs as follows:
Great pay and benefits
On Twitter I “translate” each point partly as follows:
Free Food – All if not most hospitality business, cafes, restaurants provide free food for staff.
Great pay and benefits – National minimum wage of £8.91 and less for people under 21.
Flexible Hours – 28 hour contracts but staff work 60 – 70 hours and are manipulated to work overtime without pay. Managers now are on 35 hour contracts (42.5 hours pre-Covid) but also work 60+ hours unpaid.
Apprenticeship opportunities – Young people are employed who get less pay and don’t know their rights.
After a strike action was announced by a brave staff member (who has since been silenced!) and the bad press that followed, one customer started an amazing feed on Twitter after having a VISUAL of the pay and “benefits”:
Link to Tweet.
And yesterday’s Facebook comments by former staff, each quote from a different person for anyone who can’t read the above screenshots:
“Worked for Pret, my life improved so much, [when] I left!!!!”
“If the pay is so great why not name it then?”
Response: “exactly when you start 8.20 (before tax) less than 30min break, “training” one week, shouting that staff are too slow, insults etc. If they ask for help, to stay longer IT’S FOR FREE”
“I have worked there for over 10 years. If you work extremely hard there is a career opportunity but I am glad I don’t work there anymore.”
Response: “extremely hard and you get extremely sick and mentally destroy…”
“I really feel sorry for staff who work on this company. I work before and NEVER again”
“Great pay and benefits? What a joke. Low pay, no, VERY LOW PAY and what are the benefits? None.”
“Great pay and benefits ”
So, of course Pret now has “staffing disruption” and have disabled their comment section for me!
Here again 2 YouTube slides that Pret don’t want people to see. I use YouTube and Twitter links because my blog is completely blocked on Facebook and Instagram. But they can’t block YT and Twitter!
- Slide is the immense outpouring of love and support from customers, many who not only boycott but have vowed to never set foot inside Pret again:
2. Slide is with recent staff reviews that exploitation has gotten much worse and Loose Women presenter Nadia Sawalha’s stern message to Pret after the bad press that Pret cut wages. I watch her video on Instagram at times when I need a boost. Nadia has an almost 500K following on Instagram and more followers on Twitter than Pret has. I never knew who she was until I saw this on her Instagram under a Pret hashtag or mention. Nadia Sawalha, should you read this, apologies, but I don’t have TV and don’t watch much online stuff except some short-attention-span YouTube videos! But you’ve got this angry, insane person’s attention and all ears!
This powerhouse of a lady using her huge platform to make a strong and public stand for low-wage staff has me still in tears when I watch it!!! And the recent staff reviews here are very telling as usual!
Customers flock to Twitter and increasingly raise the issue of long queues, few staff and closed shops without notice, or with conflicting messages. Pret continues to sell the subscription which many customers can’t use as their local Pret shops are closed.
Maybe Pret staff finally are fed up enough to walk out of Pret. Burger King staff certainly have had enough and a Pret customer finds it appropriate for Pret to take heed!
Here the FULL email again by a Pret shops staff member who contacted me in December 2020, among many other staff, quote:
»Hi, I work for Pret right now and honestly everything you say is 100%. If I didn’t need my job so bad right now I would tell them all to go fuck themselves!
No bonus, unpaid breaks. Everyone is like a workhorse… even a 28 hour contract working 48-60 hours because not enough staff.
People are now just working their 28 hours and leaving, no one stays over anymore the people are waking up!
The exploitation is unreal! Calling people from other shops all over to help! Sweating all day, customers are rude because service is slow.
To make matters worse they add the subscription which states on their website over 18, we have kids coming as young as 8 ordering coffees smoothies and frappes!
Pret don’t care about anyone in this company, everyone is replaceable. It makes me so sick to work for them but at this moment I do not really have a choice!
Keep doing what you do! Fuck them! I really hope they sink In this pandemic! This horrible corporate cog of the biggest scandals wheel.«
– UK Pret Employee Dec. 2020
Link to email.
To all Pret and general staff, join a union and leave a review on both Glassdoor AND Indeed, especially in your own language to help your fellow country men and women to make informed decisions.
I adopted the following song as the Pret A Manger Anthem!
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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 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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