NOTORIOUS retailer Sports Direct’s claim that most its warehouse staff feel respected at work has been exposed as bogus by the Unite union.
As staff clock on for a shift, they are asked to press a finger on an online “emoji” symbol with either a glum or smiling face to let managers know whether or not they feel they are treated with respect.
The firm claims that most staff have been pressing the smiling face.
However, bosses at Sports Direct’s Shirebrook warehouse in Derbyshire can identify staff through fingerprint technology, and Unite reported that staff admitting to not feeling respected had been called in by bosses to explain themselves.
Because the the emoji survey lacks anonymity, workers are fearful of being labelled troublemakers and losing their jobs, the union said.
Sports Direct employs 3,500 people at the warehouse, which stands on the site of a former colliery.
It has been accused of exploiting workers supplied by agencies on insecure, temporary and zero-hours contracts.
The firm was ordered to fork out £1 million in back pay because it had been paying below the legal minimum wage.
It also has a shocking health and safety record.
Unite assistant general secretary Steve Turner said: “There are still approximately 3,500 agency workers at Sports Direct’s Shirebrook warehouse, the vast majority on contracts that guarantee no more than 336 hours a year.
“Put yourself in their shoes. Would you risk having hours withheld, possibly losing your job and being called in by management because you indicated dissatisfaction with your work environment?”