Wednesday 9 September 2015 members of SPA joined forces with Unite in Swindon to demonstrate against the Zero Hour contracts and working conditions for employees of Sports Direct. Outside the town’s branch of the store protestors talked to members of the public, many of whom signed the Unite petition in support of Sports Direct’s workers.
A Zero-hours contracts is a casual contract that allows employers to hire workers without guaranteeing them work. This means employees are often left without work and called in at short notice. Their pay depends on how many hours they work. However if they have no work and therefore not getting paid they are considered employed and cannot claim work-related benefits.
Sports Direct is also known for its somewhat draconian practices. Staff are monitored and publicly naming and shaming is not unheard of. Such things as taking more time than a supervisor thinks is necessary to use the bathroom or sick leave.
As a company Sports Direct makes huge profits for its shareholders yet at what price when it is treats its employees with no respect.
Today’s protests around the UK were organised by Unite to coincide with Sports Direct’s AGM. Shareholders have responded with more than half voting against the company’s pay policy.