Home > Updates > Sports Direct Rewards Managers, not Shopfloor Workers

Sports Direct Rewards Managers, not Shopfloor Workers

This article was drafted for the new issue of the Activist due out shortly after Sports Direct were hailed as model employers. Since this was written the Guardian has confirmed what we expect in an article confirming that 20,000 of Sports Direct employees are on zero hours contracts.

Much of the liberal media in the past few days have been running the story of how Sports Direct is paying huge bonuses in the forms of shares to 2,000 staff. The company set up a bonus scheme in 2009 and those who have worked there for the last four years will receive the bonus, worth around £75,000 to anyone on a £20,000 a year salary.

In the press, this announcement is being used to make Sports Direct look like some sort of model employer. The Mirror comments that “Sports Direct chief executive Dave Forsey said the scheme had helped halve the number of workers leaving and got them more involved.” Perhaps Mr Forsey hadn’t also realised that there is currently a recession and there has been an increase in unemployment causing many retail workers to stay put in jobs they had previously assumed just to be temporary.

Like many high street retail stores, jobs have become casualised. Many Sports Direct workers are on zero hours contracts, with most full time staff being supervisors or managers. An advert for a ‘Casual Sales Assistant’ position reveals that it gives “The opportunity to work towards a full-time position if you decide a career in retail is for you.” As the bonus scheme only applies to full-time workers, then the overwhelming majority of Sports Directs 23,000 employees will receive absolutely nothing.

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