Becci Heagney, East Midlands Youth Fight for Jobs
Youth Fight for Jobs held a protest in Shirebrook, a village in North Derbyshire which is home to Sports Direct headquarters and distribution centre. We were making a stand against the company's use of zero hour contracts - which 90% of their staff are estimated to be on - and making a call to workers to get organised and fight for decent contracts.
Our protest got a lot of attention and support from passers-by and we spoke to current and ex-workers of Sports Direct. They told us that they work in a factory with a bullying management, walking miles with heavy cages to push, completely inadequate health and safety including locked fire escapes, air conditioning switched off - all for minimum wage. After finishing their shift it can take another hour before they can leave whilst they queue to be physically searched.
Mike Ashley, the owner of Sports Direct, is seen regularly in Shirebrook, sitting in the market place drinking coffee and eating a bacon cob with the locals. However, someone who is worth £2.3bn has nothing in common with any residents here. And what's more, he's only made that money through super exploitation of the people working for him. As we said at the protest: every pound he doesn't pay his workers, he knows is another pound in his pocket.
Workers are angry, but there is a huge amount of fear about what will happen to them if they take action.
Youth Fight for Jobs is working with Unite trade union and others to build a campaign that can unite ALL workers to stop the race to the bottom by fighting for decent jobs, pay, hours and working conditions.
Join the next 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)
Friday 16th August Dundee McDonalds
Saturday 17th August Leeds and York
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