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Sports Direct's back payments to workers welcomed by union

By Ben Woods

Published 16/08/2016

The move will see some workers at Sports Direct Shirebrook warehouse in Derbyshire receive as much as £1,000 in payments back-dated to May 2012
The move will see some workers at Sports Direct Shirebrook warehouse in Derbyshire receive as much as £1,000 in payments back-dated to May 2012

More than £1m in back pay is to be handed to thousands of Sports Direct workers after the retailer admitted to not paying the minimum wage.

The move will see some workers at Sports Direct Shirebrook warehouse in Derbyshire receive as much as £1,000 in payments back-dated to May 2012.

The payments will be made to both agency workers and staff directly employed by Sports Direct, Unite the union said.

The trade union said 96% of its members directly employed by Sports Direct had backed the pay deal, which covers unpaid searches at the end of shifts.

Workers employed by Sports Direct and employment agency The Best Connection will start receiving back pay in full near the end of August, Unite said.

But it added that up to 1,700 Transline agency workers may only initially be handed half the back pay they are owed.

The union said Transline is refusing to honour its commitments from when it took over at Shirebrook from recruitment firm Blue Arrow two years ago.

Steve Turner, Unite's assistant general security, said it was a "significant victory" in the union's campaign to secure dignity at work for the staff at Sports Direct.

He added: "But investors and customers alike should not be fooled into thinking that everything is now rosy at Sports Direct's Shirebrook warehouse.

"Transline, one of the employment agencies involved, is disgracefully still trying to short-change workers by seeking to duck its responsibilities.

"Deep-seated problems still remain regarding the use of agency workers with the behaviour of both Transline and The Best Connection further jeopardising Sports Direct's battered reputation.

"Sports Direct needs to make Transline face up to its responsibilities and seriously confront endemic abuses within its employment agencies."

There are 15 Sports Direct stores in Northern Ireland. Last year the company also bought Donegall Arcade in Belfast city centre, where it's to open a new sports store in the former Currys.

Belfast Telegraph

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