VIDEO: Protestors rally against Sports Direct in Shirebrook

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Protestors gathered in Shirebrook at the weekend to demonstrate against sportswear empire, Sports Direct, amidst claims they are putting staff on zero-hour contracts.

Organised by action group, Youth Fight for Jobs, more than 30 people joined the rally on Market Place on Saturday morning.

Supporters of the Youth Fight for Jobs rally on Shirebrook Market Place on Saturday morning.

Supporters of the Youth Fight for Jobs rally on Shirebrook Market Place on Saturday morning.

They held placards aloft, chanted, and collected signatures for a petition to support their campaign.

Sports Direct’s main depot employs more than 5,000 people on Brook Park, Meadow Lane, and it is understood most are supplied by recruitment firms and are on either casual or zero-hour contracts.

Becci Heagney, of Youth Fight for Jobs, said: “It was good, we were joined by young people on these contracts.

“There were other protests for Youth Action for Jobs, but in the East Midlands we focused on Sports Direct because they are one of the main businesses offering zero-hour contracts.

“There’s a lot of anger towards them in this area.

“We’ve not had a response from them and we know staff were told not to join the protest so we know we’re having an impact.

“We are working with the trade union, Unite, who are supporting us on this.

“The main message to Sports Direct is that they can clearly afford to pay a living wage and guarantee hours.

“Owner Mike Ashley is now one of the richest people in the country, so this is something that we will continue to campaign for.”

As well as wanting the company to end the zero-hour contracts, they are calling for workers to be given proper contracts with guaranteed hours, full employment rights, proper breaks and the right to join a union.

Sports Direct has been under the spotlight recently when Chad exclusively revealed how a female employee had given birth in the toilet of the warehouse on New Year’s Day.

The company has remained tight-lipped over the circumstances surrounding the incident but has attracted much criticism from union leaders and politicians.

Since then staff and former workers have contacted the Chad and lifted the lid on working conditions on the site, which include accusations of workers being sacked for petty misdemeanours, and employees being subject to random searches after their shift to make sure they weren’t stealing.

Sports Direct were contacted by Chad over Saturday’s protest but declined to comment.