Campaigners in Sports Direct 'bad business as usua...

Campaigners in Sports Direct ‘bad business as usual’ protests

05 September 2017

WHAT: Emoji themed Sports Direct protests
WHEN: From 09:30 on Wednesday 6 September 2017
WHERE: Sports Direct stores, London, Glasgow, Newcastle and the Sports Direct annual general meeting at Shirebrook

Campaigners will be holding an emoji themed event outside Sports Direct’s annual general meeting in Shirebrook, Derbyshire from 09:30 tomorrow (Wednesday 6 September) and the retailer’s flagship store in London’s Oxford Street (W1D 1ND) at 12noon as part of a day of action that sees a further 30 events across England and Scotland.  

Members of the public and attendees at Sports Direct’s AGM will be asked to use happy and sad emojis to say whether they think Sports Direct workers are treated with respect. 

The Glasgow event outside Sports Direct’s store on Sauchiehall Street (G2 3ER) starts at 10:00. The Newcastle event also starts at 10:00 outside the retailer’s store Northumberland Street (NE1 7AL).

Under the banner of ‘bad business as usual’ the events follow today’s (Tuesday 5 September) revelations that the controversial sports retailer has broken promises to offer its store staff guaranteed hours instead of exploitative zero hours contracts, see here.

It also follows accusations of an ‘emoji con’ after Unite revealed last week that Sports Direct was using touch pads with happy and sad faces to gauge worker satisfaction in its Shirebrook warehouse. 

Unite understands that finger recognition technology is being used, with workers asked to touch a happy or sad emoji as they clock in to indicate whether they feel they are treated with respect. Workers pressing the sad emoji are called in for a meeting with management.


For further information please contact Unite head of media and campaigns Alex Flynn on 020 3371 2066 or 07967 665869. 

Notes to editors:

  • Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.