Sports Direct staff subject to searches

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

Britain’s biggest union has demanded to meet with the boss of Sports Direct to discuss concerns that workers at its Shirebrook warehouse are being subjected to regular mandatory searches.

Unite claims that staff often have to queue for up to 45 minutes at the end of a shift in order to be searched by the firm’s security staff.

It has already lodged a number of cases on behalf of aggrieved workers with the employment tribunal and is now writing to Mike Ashley, the billionaire owner of Sports Direct, to demand an urgent meeting.

Unite regional secretary Annmarie Kilcline said: “We hope Mike Ashley will sit down with Unite to discuss how the treatment of workers at Sports Direct can be improved, after all they have made the business such a success.

“Unite is seriously concerned that a culture of low pay and poor treatment has embedded itself at Sports Direct. Workers are coming to us to report mistreatment so we have begun to compile a dossier to present to senior management cataloguing these concerns.

“The union was recently shocked to discover allegations that staff at its East Midlands warehouse are often expected to queue for up to 45 minutes to be searched, one-by-one, by the company’s security staff as they leave the premises at the end of a long shift.

“Sports Direct is a major UK company, success must be shared and workers must be treated with dignity.”

Unite say they have also exposed the use of zero hours contracts of Sports Direct’s entire 20,000 part-time workforce.

The company did not respond to Chad’s request for a comment by the time that we went to press.