Members of London IWW General Membership Branch participated in a picket today in front of the headquarters of Pret A Manger at London Victoria, braving the cold together with other activists to demand the reinstatement of a Pret A Manger worker unfairly suspended for unionising his workplace.
Andrej, a worker in a London branch of Pret, was unfairly suspended after he and co-workers organised to demand better working conditions — a clear case of union busting. Today’s picket was held as Andrej was undergoing an appeal hearing against his unfair dismissial behind the doors of the Pret headquarters. The picket clearly had an impact as Andrej reported that the demonstrators’ lively chants could be heard inside the offices during the hearing and the managers in charge of the meeting preferred to take the backdoor exit rather than face the picketers!
About fifteen people took part in the lively picket, chanting “What’s disgusting? Union Busting!” and “Reinstate Andrej, Pret a Manger!”, as they held the Pret Workers’ Union banner, and Wobblies flew IWW flags in Solidarity. Over 300 leaflets were distributed to passersby, every one of whom expressed support and many of whom also signed a petition to support Andrej.
The appeal process had a positive outcome with the preceding disciplinary measures being annulled and the disciplinary process scheduled to restart again from scratch as management recognised the unfair nature of the disciplinary procedings so far taken. Andrej’s unfair suspension was thus annulled, winning him full backpay, and allowing Andrej to properly prepare his defense this time against the unfair and unfounded accusations concocted against him by union busting managers.