Loose Women star Nadia Sawalha has been lauded as a "hero of the people" after filming a four-minute long video about the Pret a Manger salary cuts. The popular coffee shop chain hit the headlines this week when it was revealed last autumn's temporary pay cut amid the financial strain of the global pandemic had now become permanent.
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Pret, whose workers mostly earn the national minimum wage of £8.91 an hour, has stopped paying staff during breaks and had cut the secret shopper bonus. The latter decision has just been reversed, however.
The Guardian initially reported that the changes for someone on an eight-hour shift would amount to as much as an 11 per cent pay cut, but have now estimated it works out as a six per cent cut.
WATCH: Nadia Sawalha reacts to Pret a Manger cuts
Seething after hearing the initial news story, Nadia took to Instagram to share her thoughts, and her followers were right there with her.
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She captioned the video: "Seriously???? So outrageous! Pret A Manger means (ready to eat) I tell you what PRET I’m renaming YOU… Pret a Marcher (ready to walk) I’m walking away from your stores until this action is reversed! Anyone else??
"It's an absolute disgrace that this multi-million pound company have told staff who are on £8.91 an hour to take a pay cut?? They will no longer pay them for their breaks and have reduced the secret shopper £1 bonus (that many of them regularly get to 50p. Which will effectively amount to an 11% pay cut over an eight-hour shift?!!)
Nadia's fans were inspired by her passionate speech, with one saying: "I love how [you] tell it like it is good on you" and another declaring: "You hero of the people."
Nadia was enraged by the Pret headlines
Another follower mused: "Even if the big cats take the same cut, the impact will be different. The impact of 11% cut on such a low amount is significantly greater than 11% on what is already a significant salary!"
HELLO! understands that Nadia was reacting to The Guardian's estimated figures and Pret has since made changes.
A Pret spokesperson told HELLO!: "Like others in the hospitality industry, the pandemic had a big impact on our business, so last year we adjusted our business model.
The Loose Women star is loved for her strong opinions
"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."
Pret has now brought back the £1 per hour bonus for employees who were scored highly by mystery shoppers, but the pay cut remains in place.
The star was hailed as a "hero of the people"
Pret a Manger boss Pano Christou confirmed in an email to staff: "The business is still in recovery but it’s important that we continue to invest in and support our teams however we can. I have spent over 20 years working for Pret and spent a long time working in our shops so know how important the mystery shopper bonus is to everyone and it is something that sets Pret apart from the competition...
"Unfortunately it's taking longer than we had hoped to get sales back to what they were before the pandemic, which is why we've had to make some difficult decisions about how we reward our hard-working teams."
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Nadia is no stranger to telling it like it is, and has been vocal about everything from body image to marriage and mental health. We love how passionate she is!
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