JD Sports under fire in latest working conditions exposé
The latest in a number of undercover exposés of conditions at retailer warehouses has shone the spotlight on JD Sports with a Channel 4 investigation claiming agency workers at the Kingsway distribution centre it uses in Rochdale are effectively paid less than the UK minimum wage.
It claimed that workers have to queue for up to half an hour a day to enter and exit the facility while security checks take place, meaning their hourly pay rate dips below Britain’s legal minimum level.
Channel 4 also said staff face the sack if they sit down and can be penalised for offences such as the wrong attitude and chewing gum.
The report comes just days after reports of poor working conditions at an Amazon warehouse in Dunfermline, Scotland.
Working conditions have been in the spotlight in Britain this year with the controlling shareholder of Sports Direct, Mike Ashley, being called before a Parliamentary committee to explain heavily-criticised practices at some of its facilities.
The JD Sports news also comes as workers at a logistics facility that handles deliveries for Argos vote to strike while Post Office workers are set to strike in disputes over pay.
The explosive growth of online shopping has created a large number of logistics jobs in Britain, with even more posts added around Christmas. But most of these jobs are minimum wage and with the media very focused on working conditions, retailers can face a PR nightmare from negative stories in the press.
But the long-term trend means many of the jobs in question are likely to be automated in the future with retail giants like Amazon already testing robot logistics operations in the US.
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