Sports Direct: Stop your shameful work practices

Workers are still being treated poorly in Sports Direct stores and its warehouse in Shirebrook.
Despite Sports Direct’s promise to clean up its act, it’s bad business as usual with broken promises.

Thousands of warehouse workers are still on temporary agency contracts and only guaranteed 336 hours work a year. Denied the security and dignity of a permanent contract with Sports Direct, many work in fear of losing their job at a moment’s notice.

It’s not all smiles 

When clocking on agency warehouse workers have to tap a smiley or a sad face to say whether they are happy or not. Tap the sad face, workers are asked to reconsider, tap it again and they are taken to a room and spoken to.  Many workers fearful of losing their job hit the smiley face to avoid being labelled a ‘trouble maker’.

Storing up trouble

Sports Direct promised to great fanfare to offer all store staff guaranteed hours instead of exploitative zero hours contracts. 12 months on Sports Direct is still recruiting casual store staff with no guaranteed hours of work, stating ‘there may be weeks when no hours of work are offered.’

Broken promises

Don’t let Sports Direct continue to get away with its broken promises. If Sports Direct wants to be the ‘Selfridges of sport’ then it needs to keep its promises about treating its workers with dignity and respect.


Share these latest #SportsDirectShame images

End #SportsDirectShame | Staff in stores are still on #ZeroHours contracts
Sports Direct zero hours
End #SportsDirectShame | Warehouse workers still not made permanent
Sports Direct warehouse workers

End #SportsDirectShame | Agency workers still owed back pay 
Sports Direct agency workers


Unite win £1m in back pack for Sports Direct workers

Challenging #SportsDirectShame
Unite secures minimum wage victory for Sports Direct workers - Monday 15 August 2016

Thousands of workers at Sports Direct’s Shirebrook warehouse in Derbyshire are set to receive back pay totalling an estimated £1 million for non-payment of the minimum wage - read more here.

20,000 backed us on Sports Direct 

Thank you to everyone who took action to help us stop Sports Direct shameful work practices.

Saturday’s (13 February) national day of action was a great success, with local action taking place in more than 30 cities and more supporters joining us than ever.

We also teamed up with reps and activists to hand in our petition of more than 20,000 signatures at Sports Direct’s Shirebrook head office.

We can win this and make a real and lasting difference to Sports Direct workers’ lives.

Unite will continue to work on this to represent our members and all workers at Sports Direct.

Please stay involved: follow the campaign on Twitter, using the hashtag #SportsDirectShame

“Unite wants Sports Direct to employ all workers onto fixed hour permanent contracts, to pay a living wage and do away with these ‘draconian’ work practices.”

It’s a ‘workhouse’ NOT a workplace!
Low pay, agency work contracts, named and shamed by your bosses for ‘not working hard enough’ and body searches after every shift! These are just some of the harsh working conditions thousands of workers at Sports Direct’s Shirebrook warehouse face every day.

Six strikes and you’re out!
And if you’re found not sticking to their ‘six strikes and you’re out’ policy then you will be sacked, for strike offences such as:
Sports Direct petition
•    Chatting too much
•    Spending too much time in the toilet
•    Being sick and unable to attend work
•    Being sick and need to leave work early

Three quarters of Sports Direct staff are on zero hours contract 
It’s not just the factory staff that are treated so badly! Three quarters of the workforce at Sports Direct’s high street shops in the UK are employed on zero-hour contracts. 

This means staff are stripped of rights like holiday and sick pay. And they have no guarantee of work or pay from one week to the next.

This exploitation of workers is shocking and unacceptable in the UK in 2015! It must be stopped. 

Next steps

1. Please stay involved: follow the campaign on Twitter, using the hashtag #SportsDirectShame.

2. By campaigning together we can win decent work for all – join us. Find out more about Unite’s Decent Work For All #FightFor5 campaign here.

3. Not in a union? Then join Unite - Your union. Your voice.

Together, we can put pressure on Sports Direct to do the right thing and treat their staff properly.

BIS select committee - Sports Direct working practices – Tuesday 7 June 2016

Read Unite written evidence on #SportsDirectShame

Unite's assistant general secretary, Steve Turner and Unite regional officer, Luke Primarolo giving evidence on shameful work practices at Sports Direct to the influential House of Commons Business, Innovation and Skills select committee. Watch it here.

More on Sports Direct

MPs gave Mike Ashley only a light toasting

Sports Direct's Mike Ashley admits paying staff less than minimum wage

The Sports Direct Shambles Shows Why the Law Alone Will Never Protect Workers

Mike Ashley admits Sports Direct workers paid below minimum wage and on 'pre-paid debit cards'

Sports Direct worker 'gave birth in the toilets' because of 'culture of fear' in warehouse

More campaign news ›

Day of action - 9 September 2015

National Day of Action Against Sports Direct - 9 September 2015

Media coverage of the Day of Action

The Guardian – Sports Direct denies ‘Dickensian practices’ in face of investor revolt

The Guardian – Editorial on Sports Direct: Big British capitalism at its grubbiest

BBC News – ‘Dickensian’ protest against zero-hour contracts at Sports Direct

ITV News – Victorian themed protest at Sports Direct over zero-hour contracts

The Independent – Sports Direct shareholders revolt over poor governance

The Mirror – Protesters use giant rat to shame Sports Direct ‘Victorian’ era work practices

Daily Record – Firm owned by Rangers investor targeted by protesters over zero-hours contracts

City AM – Watch out Mike Ashley