The Conservative Party and their Paymasters hate our Trade Unions: Sports Direct staff scared to take time off with sick children, teachers claim

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Temporary workers at Shirebrook warehouse subjected to ‘six strikes and you’re out’ disciplinary procedure fear sack for taking time off work

Unite union members dressed as Dickensian workers protest against zero-hours contracts outside Sports Direct’s Shirebrook warehouse in September.
Unite union members dressed as Dickensian workers protest against zero-hours contracts outside Sports Direct’s Shirebrook warehouse in September. Photograph: Matthew Taylor/Rex

Warehouse workers at Sports Direct are sending their children to school while sick because they fear the sack for taking time off work, local primary school headteachers have alleged.

Temporary workers at the Shirebrook depot in Derbyshire are subjected to a “strike” system, where they are sacked if they receive six marks – or “strikes” – within a six-month period. Workers gain a strike for a variety of “offences” including “a period of reported sickness”, being “late in/early out” or “using a mobile phone in the warehouse”.

One local primary school headteacher said: “Yesterday one of our students was poorly, but they had come into school. The mum works at Sports Direct but had to go to work as she is on a zero hours contract and can’t get any more work. We wanted to give the child medicine, but we couldn’t get hold of the mum to get consent. These are the sorts of things that happen quite frequently. God forbid that a child had a serious accident, because we wouldn’t be able to get hold of the parents. We would have to call the police to go into the warehouse.”

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