TUC’s O’Grady blasts JD Sports over ‘degrading’ warehouse conditions

Channel 4 exposé proves Sports Direct 'wasn't just one bad apple', she said


TUC chief Frances O’Grady has slammed ‘degrading’ JD Sports warehouses after a Channel 4 exposé found workers say conditions are ‘worse than a prison’.

She said the investigation aired last night proved Sports Direct – which has admitted not paying minimum wage after a Unite and Guardian probe – ‘wasn’t just one bad apple’, and called on workers to join unions to ‘stamp out this sort of abuse’.

Channel 4 found evidence of surveillance, a ‘three strikes and you’re out’ policy and workers being sacked for ‘sitting down’ at a JD Sports distribution centre. JD Sports denies the claims but said it will investigate them.

The retail firm’s profits were up 66 per cent to £77.4 million in September.

O’Grady said:

“These are degrading conditions to work in. The practices exposed at JD Sports show just how little value some companies attach to their staff.

JD Sports’ initial response denying the problems doesn’t instil confidence.

It’s increasingly clear that Sports Direct wasn’t just one bad apple, and that terrible working practices are taking place across the UK.”

She added the government must ‘look seriously’ at warehouse conditions in Britain, adding:

“Unions in workplaces can stamp out this sort of abuse.

I would encourage anyone working in a warehouse like this to join a union and ensure that management cannot ignore their voice.”

Adam Barnett is staff writer for Left Foot Forward. Follow him on Twitter @AdamBarnett13 

See: Sports Direct’s profits drop 57 per cent – while Mike Ashley buys a corporate jet

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