This Saturday, Socialist Bluenoses will be organising a protest against Sports Direct’s Dickensian working practices at the Birmingham City vs Newcastle United game. Newcastle and Sports Direct owner Mike Ashley has built a business based on rampant use of zero hours contracts for shop and warehouse staff, poverty pay, and workhouse-like conditions at the firm’s Shirebrook warehouse.
The warehouse has become notorious even in today’s super-casualised job market. Practices include intrusive searches of staff on entry and exit and a six strikes disciplinary policy which led to one woman worker giving birth in the toilets, as she was unable to afford to take (unpaid) time off while pregnant.
After these practices were exposed by Unite the Union’s campaigning to get Sports Direct exposed in the press and in front of a parliamentary committee, Ashley generously promised to give his minimum wage employees a pay rise – of 15p an hour!
We’ll be passing out signs before the game for fans to hold up five minutes before kick off, saying “Boycott Sports Direct” and explaining just what Sports Direct workers have to put up with on the back.
The Socialist Party, and the Youth Fight For Jobs stands for the following, and works with trade unions to make it a reality:
- A living wage of £10 an hour
- An end to zero hours contracts, with holiday, maternity and sick pay
- Full employment rights from day one to protect against unfair dismissal
- An end to the parasitic wideboys running our football clubs, with genuine fan ownership and control