Sports Direct casual staff zero-hours contracts scrapped

Derbyshire-based Sports Direct has said that it will offer casual retail staff guaranteed hours instead of zero-hours contracts.

A report found "serious shortcomings" at the company's warehouse in Shirebrook.

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Things heat up as Sports Direct owner blames Unions

Sports Direct owner Mike Ashley Credit: PA

Founder and majority shareholder Mike Ashley said in a video statement that he would put a workers' representative on its board.

Amid heated exchanges at the annual general meeting this morning, Mr Ashley clashed with members of Unite, blaming the union for the businesses problems.

In response to Unite assistant general secretary Steve Turner said:

"This is probably your fault we are in this mess because we can't talk to you. I made a commitment to make a difference, I am trying, don't pull me down.> "I accept I have made some errors and I accept I can learn something. Please don't do the whole showboating thing, it will make me turn away and it's the people who work in Sports Direct who suffer."

– Steve Turner

Mr Ashley also criticised an independent shareholder for not declaring that she had links to Unite when she asked a question.

He said there also needed to be more transparency from the unions if they were to begin working together more closely.

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Zero-hours contracts not 'negative for anyone' says Sports Direct boss

The boss of Sports Direct has pledged to end zero hours contracts for shop staff and says he doesn't see it as a negative for anyone.

The company sent an interview with Mike Ashley this evening in which he says "there's no reason why this wasn't put in years ago."

The retailer has also agreed to pay all workers in its Derbyshire-based warehouse above the minimum wage.

The announcement came today after the firm faced criticism over working conditions.

  1. Chris Halpin

Sports Direct call end to zero hours contracts after review

Controversial retailer Sports Direct has pledged to end zero hours contracts for retail staff and pay all workers in its Derbyshire-based warehouse above the minimum wage.

Unions have described conditions at the firm's headquarters in Shirebrook as 'Dickensian', with staff working in a culture of fear, facing regular searches and punishments for taking too many breaks.

In response to the allegations the company called in a private firm to review the retailers working practices, and today the changes to terms for hours and pay were announced.

However today's move does not apply to thousands of agency workers employed by the company.

ITV News Central tried to contact Sports Direct today but they didn't want to comment. We are due to talk to officials tomorrow at the company's headquarters in Shirebrook. Chris Halpin reports.

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