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PIZZA DOUGH SQUEEZED FROM STAFF

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Group turnover up 1.6% to £543.0m in 2018 • UK & Ireland. 10,000 people work at PizzaExpress and we want every single one of them to be happy, challenged and fulfilled in their role. With your support, together we will continue to raise funds for Macmillan Cancer Support who provide vital practical, emotional and genuinely personal help for people living with cancer.

With sentences and paragraphs such as those lifted straight from Pizza Express’ corporate websites; the average ‘Joe’ could well believe that this particular fast food company is ‘switched on’ to the whole idea of Corporate Charity donations, and is ‘doing its bit for their many local communities.

The popular high-street pizza chain runs an annual charity week every summer to raise funds for Macmillan Cancer Support. It also donates 25p from every Padana pizza to the charity year-round. Overall Pizza Express has raised more than £1.75m for Macmillan since March 2016 as a result of its charity drive, the company has stated. However, some of this cash may have come from Pizza Express employees who felt they had “no choice” but to donate their own money to the cause during the company’s charity week, it has been claimed.

At least two Pizza Express employees have complained about the Company’s fund-raising efforts alongside Macmillan Cancer Support. They are bitter about the practice whereby Branch managers are pushed to organise fund-raising amongst the staff, and, in at least two locations, minimum-wage employees have been told that tips from ‘their’ tables will be lumped together as part of the Pizza Express lump sum donation to Macmillans. Note however that Pizza Express is not giving anything itself to the donation fund, but it is depending on ‘employee participation’ to help swell the pot. A strange fact to emerge from a ‘Global’ company which states it has strong links to its local communities.

Pizza Express said in a statement it was “saddened” to learn of the allegations.“Since 2016, we’ve proudly partnered with Macmillan Cancer Support, and this is our third year fundraising for Charity Week. Our local teams generate and take part in fundraising activities on a purely voluntary basis,” the statement said.

Pizza Express did not elaborate on its ‘sadness’. Was the ‘sadness’ due to the fact that at least two employees felt unable to approach either their line managers because of a fear of being targeted; or was the ‘sadness’ due to the fact that their ‘Charity on the Cheap’ effort had been exposed?

Macmillan Cancer was contacted for a comment. 

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