ASOS Condemned by GMB Amid Exploitation Claims

Fast-fashion retailer shows a 37% increase in profits as campaigners continue to call for the company to respect it’s workers

GMB, the union for ASOS workers, has called for the online fast-fashion retailer to respect its work force and employ some basic fairness in the workplace, as the company prepares to unveil its full-year results tomorrow (Tuesday 18 October).

Analysts at Shore Capital have predicted that before tax profits will increase from £46.1m to £63.1m, a jump of 37 per cent.

GMB and workers’ at ASOS’s Barnsley distribution centre have been running a campaign at the warehouse – the site of the old Grimethorpe colliery – since August 2015.

Recent investigations by Buzzfeed and the BBC have detailed serious concerns about conditions and working practices at the company’s warehouse. The concerns were echoed by Iain Wright MP who – as Chair of the Business, Innovation and Skills select committee led the inquiry into conditions at Sports Direct – has pledged to investigate.

The union is coupling work on the ground with a digital campaign calling on ASOS management to commit to treating workers with respect.

Neil Derrick, GMB Regional Secretary, said:

We’re seeing a familiar story play out – massive profits for those at the top, made on the back of poor pay, terms and conditions for those making ‘fast fashion’ a reality.”

ASOS are quite literally coining it in while agency workers worry whether they’ll get enough hours next week to pay the bills. We’re simply asking ASOS to treat the people who keep their warehouses moving with a bit of respect – that can’t be too much to ask in the 21st century.  

If ASOS bosses are serious about providing fashion with integrity – which is one of their slogans – then they can make sure their working conditions are fair, that wages and contracts mean people can live a decent life and that no one is subject to oppressive security and surveillance measures just for doing their jobs.”

Author: Dylan Jones

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