Today (September 6) members of Unite Scotland’s Community Branch made their voices heard as part of Unite’s national protest against Sports Direct and the broken promises of its controversial owner, Mike Ashley.
Earlier this week Unite’s national campaign exposed Sports Direct’s latest dirty trick. The company now has a sign-in policy using emojis. If you hit the unhappy face you are in trouble with the bosses – they’ll interrogate you about why you are not over the moon to work for Mr Ashley.
Today’s protest was more about Mike Ashley’s broken promises in the last year. Last September he gave clear pledges to the workers in his company that things would change. But instead it looks like one more broken promise on another.
Ashley has failed to give guaranteed hours for shop-workers or put any warehouse personnel on permanent contracts; and he has failed to meet a pledge to stop the use of zero hours contracts.
Likewise he has failed to make such contracts into guaranteed hours backed up with signed contracts. And most significantly Ashley promised an end to paying below the minimum wage – but has also failed to do that.
As the cries of “Zero Hours No Way Make Mike Ashley Pay” rang out outside Sports Direct in Glasgow’s Sauchiehall Street Unite Community Branch chairperson Keith Stoddart said, “Unite gave Mike Ashley a year to put his house In order and he hasn’t done that. He ought to know that the best assets his company has are its workers. It’s time they were treated with dignity respect and decent wages. We say No to this modern slavery.”
One of the younger members of the Unite Community branch called on young people who are suffering exploitation at work to join Unite. Michael Quinn asked, “How can you fight for a better deal on your own?
“Companies like Sports Direct are not in the habit of handing out decent wages and conditions. Join Unite!” he advised.