The six MPs who were behind the parliamentary report criticising the working practises of Sports Direct have reportedly made an unannounced visit to the retailer’s Shirebrook warehouse.
According to The Guardian, Business Select Committee chairman Iain Wright provided the company one hour notice before popping by the facility with five other MPs at about noon today.
It is understood that they were expecting to inspect the warehouse for much of the afternoon, and that Sports Direct founder and owner Mike Ashley was not present for the surprise visit.
Wright’s committee, along with union Unite, have previously said Ashley ran the business like a “Victorian workhouse” and for paying workers less than the National Minimum Wage.
After months of intense scrutiny – including a parliamentary inquiry in June – in September the retailer announced it would remove its “six strikes and you’re out” policy and move some of its many temporary staff on to permanent contracts.
It also addressed the minimum wage issue by raising the wages of warehouse workers and offering backpay to those affected.
MPs first visited Sport’s Direct’s warehouse last month, in a public event that saw a media circus descend upon Shirebrook as Ashley opened the doors for the public as part of the company’s annual general meeting.
While Wright’s committee has no real powers to punish the tycoon if he fails to deliver on his pledges to improve the working conditions, he promised to “continue to hold Mr Ashley’s feet to the fire, in as constructive a manner as possible, checking on the progress he makes on improving working conditions for workers at his premises”.