Sports Direct chairman Keith Hellawell could face calls to step down from the board at an annual meeting next week over his failure to tackle bad employment practices at the retailer.
The Trade Union Share Owners (TUSO) group, the TUC, Unite and Unison have written to the top 20 investors in the company urging them to use new rules giving increased rights to minority shareholders to block Hellawell’s re-election, according to the Guardian.
The letter criticises the former chief constable’s oversight of the collapse of part of USC, where 200 workers were laid off at the start of this year with just 15 minutes notice.
It also notes the thousands of workers on controversial zero-hours contracts.
The Institute of Directors previously warned that Sports Direct’s board was “dysfunctional” and does not provide a sufficient check on Ashley’s powers.
New rules from the Financial Conduct Authority means that Sports Direct executive deputy chairman, Mike Ashley, who owns a 55% stake in the company he founded, can be challenged by other investors.
It follows the news that Sports Direct bought a 25% share in brand agency Four Marketing, as revealed by Drapers yesterday (September 2.)