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MP calls on Mike Ashley to cut ties with Transline agency

Iain Wright, chair of the business, innovation and skills committee, has urged Sports Direct founder Mike Ashley to cut ties with employment agency Transline, which supplies workers for its Shirebrook warehouse.

Sports Direct HQ

Sports Direct HQ

The committee has written to Transline outlining that it lacked credibility when it gave evidence to the Sports Direct parliamentary inquiry, and failed to be candid over dealings with the Gangmasters Licensing Authority.

It said if Transline fails to provide “credible responses” the committee will be left with “little choice but to seriously consider reporting to the House of Commons that the company’s directors are not fit and proper to run the company”.

The BIS committee’s report into employment practices at Sports Direct, which was published in July, raised concerns about the working conditions for agency workers at Shirebrook. The workers are employed through two agencies, The Best Connection and Transline Group.

“Mike Ashley says he is committed to making conditions better for staff at Shirebrook,” said Wright. “If he means what he says, he could start by cutting his ties with Transline Group who have not been candid or credible in their evidence to the business committee and, as we heard in our evidence sessions, have deducted money from low-paid workers without proper explanation and justification.

“I would expect other companies using Transline Group will want to think seriously about using a company that treats their workers and conducts its business in this way.”

A spokesman for Sports Direct said: “We have received a letter from the BIS Committee and we will give careful consideration to the contents of the on-going correspondence. We will not be making further comment at this stage.”

A spokesman from Transline said: “We have always provided accurate information to the select committee and are focused on supporting Sports Direct in reviewing and implementing recommendations and actions from the working practices report. We will continue to offer clarity and any further information necessary to the committee. Obviously we find Iain Wright MP’s statements and summary disappointing, however we will prioritise responding to the latest correspondence in a full and concise manner, within the requested timescale.”

 

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