Thousands sign petition protesting PizzaExpress rota changes

22 May 2023 by
Thousands sign petition protesting PizzaExpress rota changes

Thousands of workers at PizzaExpress have signed a petition calling on the chain to abandon a policy which waiters fear could lead to a cut in their hours.

The new ‘labour management scheme' would see a reduction in waiting staff working before 5pm and more salaried restaurant managers taking over lunchtime shifts.

PizzaExpress said the move, which was set to be introduced last week, would impact less than a quarter of its 350 UK restaurants and was due to a change in customer habits.

However, trade union Unite, which represents some of the chain's 10,000 workers, said it could see thousands of staff lose hundreds of hours of work.

A petition started by Unite calling for the scheme to be axed has received over 2,600 signatures.

"This policy could see thousands of waiters lose hundreds of hours without proper consultation, and managers having to do even more work for the same wage," the petition states.

Unite Hospitality has shared posts on social media it said were from PizzaExpress staff impacted by the changes.

"Already lost 20 hours. Not sure yet how many more," said one.

"As a manager I may not personally lose hours however my work will be effected without the support from waiters," said another.

Bryan Simpson, lead organiser at Unite, told The Caterer the changes could have a "catastrophic" impact on part-time workers who needed lunchtime hours to fit around school and childcare.

A PizzaExpress spokesperson said last week: "Across less than a quarter of our restaurants, we are tweaking the shift patterns of a very small number of our team members on the early-week daytime shift.

"We will work with our team members to find other shifts, pick up hours at nearby restaurants or for those with fixed patterns, honour their current hours if they're unable to change these.

"Alongside offering the very best dining experience for our loyal customers, our key focus is ensuring we're doing right by our nearly 10,000-strong team."

It comes a year after front of house staff at PizzaExpress successfully campaigned to reverse a move by a tronc committee to give a greater proportion of tips to kitchen staff.

To view the petition, click here.

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