Unite welcomes Sports Direct’s independent review

The union is calling for a general ban on zero-hours contracts


Unite the Union has welcomed Sports Direct’s decision to hold an independent review into its working practice and corporate governance.

At the company’s recent AGM, Trade Union Share Owners tabled a resolution calling for the review, which was supported by the majority of independent Sports Direct shareholders.

Steve Turner, assistant general secretary at Unite, said:

“At last Mike Ashley and his board have grasped that they need to take some very serious steps to restore shareholder, consumer and worker confidence in their employment practices.

We have always urged, as we did at this year’s AGM with the backing of investors, that an independent review is a vital component of this company truly getting to grips with its many and serious employment problems, so we are pleased that the company has now seen sense.

We offer every assistance in the next steps in Sports Direct’s journey towards fair employment, including with this review, and call on Mr Ashley to recognise the benefits of working with the union during this process as an essential way to build faith with the workforce.

We will continue to make the case that only with decent, direct employment right across the business can this company truly convince its stakeholders and the watching world that it is genuine about making the much-needed changes to practices that have shocked people everywhere.”

Unite has been campaigning to improve conditions at Sports Direct, and to outlaw zero-hours contracts across the workforce.

‘Increasingly businesses are recognising that [zero-hours contracts] have no place in the modern workplace and are bad for workers, bad for business and bad for the economy,’ Turner said. ‘The government should now show leadership and follow the lead of government’s like New Zealand and ban zero hours contracts.’

See also: The changes at Sports Direct aren’t enough – government must act on zero-hours contracts

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