MP to demand talks with Sports Direct

NDET 03-10-12 MC 6'Sports Direct Shirebrook
NDET 03-10-12 MC 6'Sports Direct Shirebrook

An MP has demanded talks with Sports Direct owner Mike Ashley following the collapse of a worker at his Shirebrook headquarters.

Gloria De Piero had penned a letter to the billionaire asking to meet and discuss Guntar Zarins, the 52-year-old who suffered a blood clot on his brain while at work, and is still ill in hospital.

The family of the Latvian-born Mansfield man says he had been ill in the days leading up to his collapse, but would not take time off for fear of losing his job.

They criticised the working conditions at the warehouse, where many staff are employed through agencies on zero-hour contracts.

They say a strike system, in which people can be fired for minor misdemeanours , instills fear into the workforce.

Having met with Mr Zarins’ daughter, Liga, Ashfield MP Gloria now wants to discuss the matter with Mr Ashley.

She said: “What happened to Mr Zarins is absolutely shocking. He and his family have been through hell and the very least Mike Ashley can do is sit down with them and listen to their concerns.

“Liga is determined to get to the bottom of this and lift the lid on some of the working conditions her dad put up with and won’t rest until she gets some answers. She has my backing all of the way.”

Miss De Piero is not the first MP to speak out over Sports Direct, with Bolsover’s Dennis Skinner heavily criticising the operation.

However, Sports Direct has always remained silent despite numerous calls for a response and explanation.