Sports Direct bosses to face MPs over workers' treatment at USC warehouse

Workers at a Scottish warehouse who lost their jobs are claiming they were not properly consulted before being let go

Sports Direct’s founder, Mike Ashley, has been called to give evidence to MPs on the Commons Scottish Affairs Committee. He will be questioned about the treatment of workers at its fashion chain, USC.

Mr Ashley, the owner of Newcastle United, has been called to appear next month with senior Sports Direct managers. MPs are examining what happened to workers at USC’s Scottish warehouse. They were made redundant when administrators were called in last month. Sports Direct owned 28 USC stores.

The administration was prompted after the fashion brand Diesel took action over an unpaid bill.

The shops were then bought out of administration by another Sports Direct fashion subsidiary, Republic, and continue to trade. But workers at the Ayrshire warehouse who lost their jobs have claimed that they were not properly consulted before being let go.

“The Scottish Affairs Committee is investigating how employees in small businesses are treated when big bosses decide to shut down a company or sites,” Ian Davidson, the chairman of the committee, told Reuters yesterday.

He added that the committee would also look for evidence of USC’s use of zero-hour contracts. Sports Direct has been criticised for putting the majority of its part-time workforce on zero-hours contracts, which offer no guaranteed work or pay.

Sports Direct declined to comment yesterday.

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