Sports Direct to face loads of protests

9 September 2015

sportsdirect Sports Direct is not a well-loved company, and things are about to get ugly with protests all over the place during their AGM. Don't worry if you're a fan of their massive mugs though - people aren't going to spit in your tea for using one (unless you're Mike Ashley).

A lot of the main shakers at the company are facing opposition from shareholders at the Sports Direct HQ in Derbyshire. There's also going to be a Victorian-style protest too, which will look like a steampunk festival no doubt.

Unite members are dressing up as Dickensian workers, as they'd like to see an end to what they're calling 'Victorian' working practices. 40 Sports Direct stores are going to be targeted. Handlebar moustachioed hipsters are set to be very confused as they ride by on the penny farthings.

Shareholders - including the Trade Union Share Owners group - are expected to grill Sports Direct chairman Keith Hellawell and his boardroom chums about working conditions. A lot of the talk will be about zero hour contracts, as Hellawell admitted to a committee of MPs that 75% of Sports Direct's employees - that's over 15,000 staff - are on zero-hour contracts.

Unite will also bring up the claims that, at some stores, staff are being humiliated by being ‘named and shamed’ for not working hard enough over store tannoys.

Royal London Asset Management, another investor, aren't happy with Mike Ashley and they're annoyed that he's failed to attend four board meetings. A bunch of investors also want answers about the company's bonus scheme for senior staff.

Unite regional officer Luke Primarolo said: "With question marks over corporate governance and dire employment practices, we would urge shareholders to join Unite and the Trade Union Share Owners group in sending a message to the board by opposing the re-election of Keith Hellawell."

Of course, through all this, Sports Direct were making loads of money for themselves and, seeing as they don't mind being a reviled bunch, these discussions could all fall on deaf ears... ears filled with £50 notes and cheap cagoules.

TOPICS:   High Street News

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