Union calls on Business Select Committee to launch an inquiry into working practices at ASOS.

GMB, Britain’s general union, has warned that online clothing giant ASOS is on track to become the next sports direct at TUC congress in Brighton. The union called on the Business Select Committee to launch an inquiry into working practices at ASOS.

Addressing TUC congress, GMB Regional Secretary Neil Derrick said
“This is a real concern for our members. We campaigned vigorously last year on hidden cameras being used in care homes and the care sector. Our members helped shape the guidance which the Care Quality Commission eventually issued to the industry.

“Unnecessary levels of surveillance and monitoring increases workplace stress, reduces trust and affects productivity. Unjustified surveillance by an employer is usually a symptom of wider abuse and exploitation in the workplace.

“And that brings me to ASOS, the giant online fashion retailer whose huge warehouse and distribution centre is based in Grimethorpe, on the site of the Grimethorpe Colliery, the poorest area of Barnsley- the poorest borough in Yorkshire, 4,000 workers are currently fighting with us, GMB for union rights and recognition.

“ASOS, the next Sports Direct, has the highest level of invasive monitoring and surveillance I’ve ever seen. Round the clock, in-your-face cameras on every workstation. Frequent random searches. Searches when you get to work, searches when you leave, searches before you go to the toilet, searches when you come out of the toilet.

“One of our members was recently suspended for refusing a search during her lunch break. She sat in her car eating her lunch. A security guard approached the car and asked to search her and her vehicle.

“Let me finish my sandwich” she said. This she did and then invited the security man to do the search. To be told “too late!” You’ve refused a search and we have it all on camera. Suspended – with all stress that brings with it. She was in GMB and we got her back to work."

“How many others need our help? Comrades as with Sports Direct we’ve called on the Chair of the BIS Select Committee to launch an inquiry into working practices at ASOS."

“Our message to ASOS and any other “Big Brother” employer is simple: "You’re watching our members.
Well, we are watching you.”


Neil Derrick on 07958 156832 or GMB press office on 07958 156846 or [email protected]   


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