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Former Sports Direct worker - in his own words

Former Sports Direct worker - in his own words

[caption id="attachment_828" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Youth Fight for Jobs protest against zero-hour contracts outside Sports Direct on Oxford Street - photo by Ian Pattison"]Youth Fight for Jobs protest against zero-hour contracts outside Sports Direct on Oxford Street - photo by Ian Pattison[/caption]

Matt (former worker at  Sports Soccer - now Sports Direct)

"As a former employee of Sports Soccer (Sports Direct’s predecessor) it came as little surprise to me to learn that this company has become one of the first targets of Youth Fight for Jobs’ new initiative ‘Are you Sick of your Boss?’.

"Luckily for me, the job market in 2002, although not swimming with wonderful jobs, would be the envy of a lot of young people today. Usually you could find something even if it wasn’t a dream job and as such I was able to jump to a different employer quite quickly who treated me marginally better.

"Sports Soccer’s (Sports Direct) policy at the store I worked at was to hire as many people as they could onto zero-hour contracts, which put a lot of reserve labour at their disposal. The deal was if you step out of line once or we don’t like the look of you, we will give your hours to somebody else.

"It was store policy that you had to be on the shop floor 10 minutes before your shift started, which was unpaid. In short, every 6 shifts they got a free hour out of you. In fact, they got a lot more than that, it was also made clear to you at the interview that you were expected at the end of the day to tidy the store which, again, was unpaid and usually took between 30-45 minutes; more free labour.

"Shop floor workers I am sure you are shocked to learn were on minimum wage. Minimum wage jobs for young working class people and university graduates were not uncommon even back then.

"Had it been merely the wage and the zero-hour contract I would not have labelled them the worst company I have ever worked for. What tips the balance was the shockingly indignant way they treated me and the rest of the workforce. As an employee you were not considered to be worthy of entering the shop via the front entrance you had to go in via the back door. There was also a big sign on the back door that if you opened it without a supervisor present you would face immediate dismissal for the crime of opening a door!

"Worst of all you were basically treated as a criminal and subject to a body and bag search at the end of every shift. It is about time the shockingly bad way Mr Ashley treats his employees is brought into the public spotlight."

Join the Youth Fight for Jobs protests against zero-hour contracts

Saturday 10th August Northampton 11am Sports Direct

Saturday 10th August London -  march to name & shame zero-contract employers on Oxford Street - meet at Tottenham Court Road tube station at 12pm

Saturday 10th August Dundee 1:30am Sports Direct in Nethergate (Overgate shopping centre)

Saturday 17th August Leeds

Saturday 24th August Bristol 1pm Youth Fight for Jobs zero-hour Walk of Shame - march through Bristol city centre to name & shame zero-hour contract employers

contact Youth Fight for Jobs on 02085587947
catch us on facebook ‘Youth Fight for Jobs’
follow us on twitter @youthfight4jobs #soyb
OR text JOIN, plus your name & postcode to 07749379010