Sports Direct founder Mike Ashley leaves the Red Lion pub in Westminster to attend a select committee hearing at Portcullis house, London [Image: Carl Court/Getty Images].

Sports Direct founder Mike Ashley leaves the Red Lion pub in Westminster to attend a select committee hearing at Portcullis house, London [Image: Carl Court/Getty Images].

Funny how this comes out on the day Mike Ashley finally makes an appearance, on the record, in front of the Business, Innovation and Skills committee in Parliament, isn’t it?

Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct has agreed with HM Revenue & Customs to compensate its warehouse employees for paying them less than the national minimum wage.

The agreement was revealed by officials from the union Unite, who have been leading a campaign against pay and conditions at the retailer’s warehouse, when they gave evidence to parliament’s business, innovation and skills select committee [today, June 7].

MPs on the business, innovation and skills committee have been locked in a battle to get Ashley to attend parliament to answer their questions on working practices at the firm. He had repeatedly refused, despite the MPs formally issuing him with a summons, while he also taunted committee members by calling them a joke.

However, Ashley, who also owns Newcastle United, backed down over the weekend. MPs had indicated they would proceed with plans to potentially have him found in contempt of parliament and seek to trigger a Commons vote on whether the tycoon is a “fit and proper” person to be running a business.

Source: Sports Direct to compensate workers after failing to pay minimum wage | Business | The Guardian

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