Britain’s largest union, Unite today (Friday 19 May) called on the new owners of Transline to break with the past by building a new constructive relationship with both its workers and Unite.
As a first step, Unite urged Transline’s new owner, Russell Taylor, to pay the outstanding money owed to Sports Direct workers because of non-payment of the minimum wage before HM Revenue and Customs orders it to do so.
Transline workers at Sports Direct’s Shirebrook warehouse have been waiting for over a year for a portion of the back pay owed to them to be paid.
Warning the employment agency against dodging its responsibilities, Unite said a change of ownership must not result in the agency wriggling out of its obligations at Sports Direct or at any one of its other contracts where Unite has membership.
Unite was responding as it emerged that the controversial employment agency, which supplies workers for Sports Direct’s Shirebrook warehouse, had gone into administration yesterday (Thursday 18 May) and then immediately been sold to an off shoot of Russell Taylor.
Commenting Unite assistant general secretary Steve Turner said: “Rocked by scandal and dogged by controversy, it is no surprise that Transline went into administration. But the speed with which it was done and the sale went through, rings alarm bells and raises questions as to whether this was a ruse for Transline to wriggle out of its obligations.
“Neither Transline, or its new owner Russell Taylor, should be allowed to dodge their responsibilities to their workers. Wherever they work, Unite will be supporting and working with those workers to protect their pay, conditions and job security into the future.
“At Sports Direct we call on Transline’s new owner to put the past behind the controversial employment agency and immediately pay the back pay owed for non-payment of the minimum wage.
“Unite will be approaching Russell Taylor in an attempt to resolve this and other matters hanging over from the deplorable antics of Transline’s past.
“In the meantime we would urge HMRC to back up our call and order Transline to pay up and meet its responsibilities to workers who have been so shamelessly exploited.”
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.