Sports Direct workers’ rep faces an uphill struggle to...

Sports Direct workers’ rep faces an uphill struggle to bring fairness to boardroom

12 April 2017

Unite – the union fighting for a fair deal for Sports Direct workers – has warned today (Wednesday 12 April ) that the company’s newly appointed board member will face an uphill struggle to have workers’ concerns heard and to resolve the deep-rooted problems across the business.

Unite called for the company to waste no further time in now moving agency workers onto permanent contracts.

Sports Direct has announced that a store manager from Barnstaple will be appointed to a seat on what Unite understands is their six-strong `leadership team’.  

Commenting, Luke Primarolo, Unite’s officer leading the union’s campaign at Sports Direct, said: “Unite wishes the newest member of the Sports Direct board well and would like to offer to meet as soon as possible so that we can brief him on the experiences of the workforce.

“We urge that he makes one of his first acts to persuade the company that agency workers on insecure hire-and-fire contracts are offered permanent appointments.

“Only when Sports Direct eliminates its dependence on agencies will it avert the situation we have now whereby dozens of workers are still awaiting repayment of money owed to them as a result of the underpayment of the national minimum wage by the Transline agency used by the company to supply warehouse workers.

“We sincerely hope that the new board member will take up our invitation to meet. As a company appointee he faces an uphill struggle to convince the workforce that he will be their eyes and ears in the boardroom.  

“If the company is to go down the route of workers on the board, then they should be elected in an open and transparent process.”

Unite recently informed the Commons’ business select committee that workers employed at Sports Direct are still awaiting the wages that they are owed by their agency Transline, who failed to pay the workers the minimum wage.


Notes to editors:

For further information contact the Unite press office on 020 3371 2065

  • 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.