So Mike Ashley, in front of a committee of MPs, admits he is a bit of a rascal. Accused of paying below the minimum wage, too many zero hours contracts, the vast majority of the warehouse staff are agency workers, running a climate of fear in his warehouse, involving the staff in long, time consuming searches, after their clocked off time, administering a, six strikes and you’re out regime. The strikes being, chatting too much, taking too long in the toilet, and other such vile crimes. Also being penalised if you are as much as one minute late.
The publicity has seen the price of the shares in his company, Sports Direct, take a tumble, down 45% on last year. Could this be the next capitalist success story after Philip Greens magnificent job at BHS? He has promised is accusers, the MPs, that he will put all these matters right, that of course could hit his profit margins, which in turn will keep pushing the price of his shares down. Could this be time to pull the plug and walk away with his millions, earned from all that below minimum wage, zero hours contracts, and agency workers, climate of fear, routine that he followed so faithfully. Of course, if so, we will get the usual, “difficult trading conditions” was the cause of the collapse. Whatever the outcome of this little exercise with the MPs, what I don’t expect is that Sports Direct will become a pleasant and well paid place to be employed.
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