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Union launches pay claim for Sports Direct's warehouse workers

A union representing some Sports Direct workers has filed a pay claim requesting thousands of workers be moved from zero-hour contracts onto permanent contracts.

Unite represents a handful of workers at the retailer’s Shirebrook warehouse despite having had a union recognition agreement in place for many years. It said Sports Direct should pay staff the living wage of £7.85 per hour in a formal claim, according to reports in The Guardian.

The move comes after Sports Direct reported a 20% increase in its pre-tax profits to £300m in the year to April 26, which meant permanent staff received share bonuses totalling £155m.

Workers on zero-hour contracts were excluded from the scheme and in March, Sports Direct chairman Keith Hellawell told MPs that 14,700 people (equating to around 78% of its total workforce) were employed on this type of contract.

Unite said 300 of the 3,000 workers at the Shirebrook warehouse facility in Derbyshire are permanent staff, reported the newspaper. The rest are said to be employed via agencies Best Connection and Transline.

The Guardian described working conditions as tough, with a six strikes and you’re out policy that means workers can be disciplined for taking too long in the toilet or talking too much.

@Tara_Hounslea

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