Highwayman returns for bad bosses Sports Direct
HIGHWAYMAN Dick Turpin was back in action yesterday to unmask the “daylight robbery” Sports Direct carries out upon its staff.
The retail giant runs a huge warehouse at Shirebrook in Debryshire where conditions have been condemned as coming out of the Victorian era.
Unite the union targeted employment agencies The Best Connection and Transline, which provide workers on zero-hours contracts — with no idea of their hours from one day to the next — to the warehouse.
The union staged simultaneous protests at The Best Connection’s office in Chesterfield and Transline offices in Brighouse and Nottingham.
Employees are subject to strict security and body searches when they leave work. The searches often delay their departure from work, though they are not paid for the time they lose.
Sports Direct boss Mike Ashley admitted to MPs last week that this effectively means workers are paid less than the £7.20 minimum wage.
Inside the warehouse workers are subjected to a “six strikes and you’re out” system for “offences” such as being off ill or spending too long in the toilet.
One pregnant woman was so afraid of taking time off that she ended up giving birth in the toilet.
Other workers have been forced to urinate in water fountains because the toilets were a 15-minute walk away.
The Turpin act was to highlight the “daylight robbery” to which Sports Direct staff are subjected by both the company and the employment agencies, said the union.
The union said the agencies further dock workers’ wages through a weekly insurance fee.
Unite Yorkshire industrial organiser Joe Rollin said: “As if it wasn’t bad enough working at Sports Direct’s gulag in Shirebrook, the agency who send workers there are stealing their wages!
“Transline and Best Connection are skimming cash off their employees’ wages in deductions for the privilege of receiving pay.”