Sports Direct has a wilful corrupt working culture “at its core”, MPs have heard.
In a hearing with the Business, Innovation and Skills Committee today (Tuesday 7 June 2016), Steve Turner, Assistant General Secretary at Unite the Union, told MPs bosses at Sports Direct have showed a “contempt for employee rights, viewing human beings as disposable assets”.
Turner claimed the working culture has impacted on Sport Direct’s employees’ health and wellbeing.
An investigation by the BBC found ambulances were called out to the headquarters of Sports Direct in Shirebrook, Derbyshire, 76 times in two years.
Many calls by Sports Direct workers were for “life threatening” illnesses with the BBC reporting staff who were “too scared” to take sick leave.
“Workers are paying the price of reduced goods,” said Turner. “[The impact upon a worker’s health and wellbeing] is a natural consequence of the constant strive to drive down cost.”
When asked by MPs whether bosses were aware of the alleged corrupt working practices at Sports Direct, Turner said he “couldn’t believe people walk around warehouses with their eyes closed. This is their business model”.
Turner said he has never seen working practices like Sport Direct on a scale such as this in his career.
Sports Direct owner Mike Ashley is to face MPs later today.