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Sports Direct: ‘Workers satisfied’ – apparently

Chairman Hellawell grilled at AGM
Ryan Fletcher, Wednesday, September 6th, 2017

UNITElive reports live from inside the AGM:



Unite will be tweeting from inside the #SportsDirect AGM where board members will face questions over the treatment of staff.



Owner Mike Ashley will not be attending the #SportsDirect AGM after accusing Unite of “getting us into this mess” at last year’s meeting.



sports direct agm 171.JPG

Unite volunteer English teacher for #SportsDirect staff, Tom Kirkhan, outside the AGM protest:

“The firm’s treatment of workers hasn’t improved.”


Shareholder: Share value fallen because of issues around work conditions. Markets are not satisfied. Firm needs independent inquiry into matter.



Chairman Keith Hellawell says there will be no independent inquiry into work practises. “There has been enormous improvement. We’re not complacent.”



Unite Community branch-chair Colin Hampton asks why #SportsDirect staff are still on zero-hour contracts with no guaranteed hours.



Hellawell: We call them casual workers not zero hours. It’s legal so we will do what we like. Much of workforce like them.



Hampton: So it’s business as usual? Hellawell: Employees prefer them but we are constantly looking to make workforce happy.



Unite branch-sec Val Graham asks why warehouse workers on temp contracts are not made permanent. Asks if execs will meet Unite to discuss?



Hellawell: “Yes.” But he disputes Unite’s evidence from workers that they are unhappy. He says their research finds staff are satisfied.



Unite member Andrew King asks about missing back-pay for agency workers.



Chairman Hellawell: It’s legally difficult because agencies are third parties. Says if Sports Direct is so bad why do 29,000 people work there?



AGM has now finished.


UNITElive will get back to you soon with live reaction from campaigners gathered outside. Stay tuned



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