Sports Direct paying below minimum wage

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JAS84
Posts: 444
Joined: Fri 12 Aug, 2011 10.23
Location: Hull, UK

Sports Direct's founder Mike Ashley has admitted workers at its Derbyshire warehouse were paid below the minimum wage and its policy of fining staff for being late was unacceptable.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-36465404

Looks like they're going to be in trouble.
stu
Posts: 219
Joined: Fri 15 Aug, 2003 19.34
Location: Kings Oak

Shocking. I don't think this is the same sort of thing but anyway - I had a family member get a job recently at a 'well known holiday camp' as a chalet cleaner assuming min wage. What was not made at all clear in the job listing or interview was that you are 'sub employed' via a contractor working for the camp, and so only got paid like £2 per chalet cleaned, and you can only clean about 2 or 3 in the few hours you are employed for. Was all revealed when I stepped in asking why there was a shortfall in wages. Plus, uppity chalet inspectors had the tenacity to 'criticize' the work done. A total waste of time.
JAS84
Posts: 444
Joined: Fri 12 Aug, 2011 10.23
Location: Hull, UK

Well, that's definitely illegal. If you haven't already, report that company.
cwathen
Posts: 1135
Joined: Fri 15 Aug, 2003 17.28

JAS84 wrote:Well, that's definitely illegal. If you haven't already, report that company.
Would depend on the setup though. A lot of people 'employed' in the proper cesspool of UK employment (and that is an attack on the employers, not the workers), are told that they have 'a job' but on closer inspection are all technically self-employed and paid a commission via invoice rather than a wage. Minimum wage goes out the window then - the 'employer' can pay or not pay pretty much anything they want.

Re Sports Direct - I do hope people working in highly unionised industries take note at the practices they read in that article. Sports Direct is not an isolated case, employers who have such little regard for their workers that they don't particularly care if they even survive working there are a reality in too much of UK employment. And even reading through the lines in this article, you can already see that there will only be cursory changes at Sports Direct. This is just how it is for an awful lot of people working in this country, and very little will change any time soon.

When I get angry about railway workers prattling on about 'uniform settlements' or being expected to work hours conducive to the needs of an industry that they willingly joined (and seemingly will never leave either in order to create space for people willing to accept such 'bad' treatment), whilst also working in an industry which pays above the average and gives 100% staff discount, this is not motivated by jealously or repulsion, it is sheer bewilderment that people who have it so good have the (seemingly genuine) belief that they actually have it so bad. That was (and still is) my view behind everything I posted in a certain other thread last year.

Working at a place like the Sports Direct warehouse would open a lot of eyes to a lot of people.
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Neil
Posts: 589
Joined: Sun 06 Nov, 2005 17.02
Location: Manchester

cwathen wrote:Re Sports Direct - I do hope people working in highly unionised industries take note at the practices they read in that article. Sports Direct is not an isolated case, employers who have such little regard for their workers that they don't particularly care if they even survive working there are a reality in too much of UK employment. And even reading through the lines in this article, you can already see that there will only be cursory changes at Sports Direct. This is just how it is for an awful lot of people working in this country, and very little will change any time soon.

When I get angry about railway workers prattling on about 'uniform settlements' or being expected to work hours conducive to the needs of an industry that they willingly joined (and seemingly will never leave either in order to create space for people willing to accept such 'bad' treatment), whilst also working in an industry which pays above the average and gives 100% staff discount, this is not motivated by jealously or repulsion, it is sheer bewilderment that people who have it so good have the (seemingly genuine) belief that they actually have it so bad. That was (and still is) my view behind everything I posted in a certain other thread last year.

Working at a place like the Sports Direct warehouse would open a lot of eyes to a lot of people.
While I completely agree that there are appalling employment practices in way too many places, I'm always concerned when I see negative comments about those in unionised environments - generally speaking, the reason they have so much better conditions is precisely because of unionisation and the advantages of collective bargaining.

Rather than negativity about unionised industries and their workers' conditions, it would better in my opinion if other industries were allowed to gain stronger union representation - a situation I recognise has become increasingly difficult with governments of all shades passing anti-union legislation and favouring employers' rights over those of their employees in the name of capitalism/growth etc.
cwathen
Posts: 1135
Joined: Fri 15 Aug, 2003 17.28

Neil DG wrote:
cwathen wrote:Re Sports Direct - I do hope people working in highly unionised industries take note at the practices they read in that article. Sports Direct is not an isolated case, employers who have such little regard for their workers that they don't particularly care if they even survive working there are a reality in too much of UK employment. And even reading through the lines in this article, you can already see that there will only be cursory changes at Sports Direct. This is just how it is for an awful lot of people working in this country, and very little will change any time soon.

When I get angry about railway workers prattling on about 'uniform settlements' or being expected to work hours conducive to the needs of an industry that they willingly joined (and seemingly will never leave either in order to create space for people willing to accept such 'bad' treatment), whilst also working in an industry which pays above the average and gives 100% staff discount, this is not motivated by jealously or repulsion, it is sheer bewilderment that people who have it so good have the (seemingly genuine) belief that they actually have it so bad. That was (and still is) my view behind everything I posted in a certain other thread last year.

Working at a place like the Sports Direct warehouse would open a lot of eyes to a lot of people.
While I completely agree that there are appalling employment practices in way too many places, I'm always concerned when I see negative comments about those in unionised environments - generally speaking, the reason they have so much better conditions is precisely because of unionisation and the advantages of collective bargaining.

Rather than negativity about unionised industries and their workers' conditions, it would better in my opinion if other industries were allowed to gain stronger union representation - a situation I recognise has become increasingly difficult with governments of all shades passing anti-union legislation and favouring employers' rights over those of their employees in the name of capitalism/growth etc.
My issue is not about some people having it better than others, it's more that many of those who have it better seem to believe that they actually have it the worst. Hence why it would do a lot of people who work in a unionised industry some good to spend time in an un-unionised one and learn to appreciate what they have.
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dosxuk
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cwathen wrote:My issue is not about some people having it better than others, it's more that many of those who have it better seem to believe that they actually have it the worst. Hence why it would do a lot of people who work in a unionised industry some good to spend time in an un-unionised one and learn to appreciate what they have.
How close to Sports Direct working conditions should unionised industries get before the Union's react?

And should people in safety critical roles be subjected to such conditions as part of their work?
james2001
Posts: 542
Joined: Sat 04 Jun, 2005 23.10

It's strange hearing the Sports Direct warehouse being under such publicity, when it's something I can see from my bedroom window!
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Neil
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Joined: Sun 06 Nov, 2005 17.02
Location: Manchester

cwathen wrote:My issue is not about some people having it better than others, it's more that many of those who have it better seem to believe that they actually have it the worst. Hence why it would do a lot of people who work in a unionised industry some good to spend time in an un-unionised one and learn to appreciate what they have.
I respectfully disagree.
I don't think most people working in unionised industries think they have it worse. I think they recognise that they have strong support to improve their working conditions.
Something which I think should be available to all workers.

Otherwise there's a danger of a race to the bottom with probably the majority of employers doing their damnedest to do their best to improve profits at the expense of working conditions and pay.

I honestly doubt whether Mike Ashley/Sports Direct would have owned up if they weren't already being exposed and there are plenty more employers like him.
Alexia
Posts: 2967
Joined: Sat 01 Oct, 2005 17.50

A lot of people working in unionised industries, like me, have previous experience of working in non unionised industries, so we are perfectly aware of how bad it can be. In fact even IN a unionised industry there are holes in which people can fall.... for example on train cleaners who are all in RMT yet get paid a relative pittance for doing horrible work. Some catering crews are sourced from outside and don't even get free travel, for example, or guaranteed breaks away from the train.

For my part I spent a year working in a five star hotel for about £6.50 an hour back in the day.... no union movement there, for obvious reasons...*
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