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Posted on 16 August 2013 at 16:29 GMT

Zero-hours protest at Sports Direct HQ

Becci Heagney, East Midlands Youth Fight for Jobs

Youth Fight for Jobs held a protest in Shirebrook, a village in North Derbyshire, which is home to Sports Direct's headquarters and distribution centre.

We were making a stand against the company's use of zero hour contracts - which 90% of their staff are estimated to be on - and making a call to workers to get organised and fight for decent contracts.

Our protest got a lot of attention and support from passers-by and we spoke to current and ex-workers of Sports Direct.

They told us about working in a factory with a bullying management, walking miles with heavy cages to push, completely inadequate health and safety including locked fire escapes, air conditioning switched off - all for minimum wage.

After finishing their shift it can take another hour before they can leave while they queue to be physically searched.

Mike Ashley, the owner of Sports Direct, is seen regularly in Shirebrook, sitting in the market place drinking coffee and eating a bacon cob with the locals.

However, someone who is worth 2.3 billion has nothing in common with any residents there. And what's more, he's only made that money through super exploitation of the people working for him.

As we said at the protest: every pound he doesn't pay his workers, he knows is another pound in his pocket.

Workers are angry, but there is a huge amount of fear about what will happen to them if they take action.

Youth Fight for Jobs is working with the Unite trade union and others to build a campaign that can unite all workers to stop the race to the bottom by fighting for decent jobs, pay, hours and working conditions.

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