13 Sep 2016 05:20pm

Sports Direct urged to cut ties with warehouse agency

Business, Innovation and Skills Committee chairman Iain Wright has written to Sports Direct deputy chairman Mike Ashley, calling on him to sever ties with Transline Group, the employment agency that supplies workers to the company’s Shirebrook warehouse
Caption: Committee urges Sports Direct to sever ties with firm supplying workers

In its report on Sports Direct’s employment practices, published in July, the committee questioned Transline’s “probity” and the reliability of its witnesses in relation to its dealings with the Gangmasters Licensing Authority.

The committee also said that it believed Transline had “deliberately misled” the committee in its evidence.

Since then, despite being given the opportunity to, Transline has failed to explain why its evidence was not deliberately misleading.

“We still believe that Transline has not been candid over its dealings with the GLA or in its evidence to the committee,” Wright says.

In his letter to Ashley, he writes, “We ask you to think seriously about continuing to use Transline, a company that treats its workers and conducts its business in a way that is inconsistent with your own aspirations for Sports Direct to be seen on a par with the likes of Selfridges and John Lewis.”

In a separate letter to Transline finance director Jennifer Hardy, Wright warns her that misleading the committee is a serious matter. If she fails to answer the committee’s points, he adds, it “would leave the committee with little choice but to seriously consider concluding and reporting to the House that Transline’s directors are not fit and proper to run the company and publicising our conclusion as widely as possible”.

Julia Irvine


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