Sports Direct campaigners join forces with Dick Turpin...

Sports Direct campaigners join forces with Dick Turpin in ‘daylight robbery’ protest

10 June 2016

WHAT: Dick Turpin and campaigners stage ‘daylight robbery’ protest
WHERE:Rykneld Square, Chesterfield S40 1SB
WHEN: Monday 13 June 2016, at 12 noon 

Campaigners will be joined by Dick Turpin and Black Bess to accuse the employment agencies running Sports Direct’s Shirebrook warehouse in Derbyshire, of ‘daylight robbery’ on Monday (13 June), in a protest outside The Best Connection’s offices in Chesterfield.

Singing a specially adapted version of ‘Stand and Deliver’, the campaigners will be led by Dick Turpin and his trusty steed Black Bess through the streets of Chesterfield to The Best Connection offices in the town, where volunteers will be held up by Dick Turpin and robbed of their wages.

The protest is organised by Britain’s largest union, Unite, which has been leading the campaign against ‘shameful’ work practices at Sports Direct. 

‘Lifting the lid’ on ‘Victorian’ work practices during evidence to the House of Commons Business, Innovation and Skills select committee, Unite revealed that some workers received their wages through pre-paid debit cards. Costing £10 to get, workers are charged £10 a month in ‘administrative fees’ for the card, as well as 75 pence for cash withdrawals.

As well as Sports Direct tycoon Mike Ashley admitting workers were paid below the minimum wage, the committee also heard how workers, if they were one minute late at the retailer’s Shirebrook warehouse, were docked 15 minutes' pay. 

It also emerged that The Best Connection was charging workers a fee of over £2.45 for ‘insurance services’ straight from their weekly wages with no explanation. 

Commenting, Unite regional officer Luke Primarolo said: “Workers employed by Sports Direct through The Best Connection and Transline are being subject to daylight robbery. 

“Not only have these employment agencies broken the law by failing to pay their staff properly, they are skimming money off workers’ low wages through an ‘insurance service’ scam and by ‘taxing’ them to access their hard earned cash.

“This shameful money grabbing behaviour combined with a ‘six strikes and you’re out’ rule exposes the exploitative work practices being used by The Best Connection and Transline at Sports Direct’s warehouse.

“But it doesn’t’ have to be this way as Unite has shown. We would urge workers at Sports Direct to join Unite to help us restore dignity in the workplace and get the back pay they are owed. 

“We also call on Mike Ashley to work with Unite to stop the abuses which are being done in the name of Sports Direct.”


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