Boohoo urged to engage with Usdaw over allegations of poor working conditions

Boohoo has been urged to engage with unionist Usdaw after it was revealed that workers at a warehouse in Burnley are working in poor conditions.

The trade union wrote to John Lyttle, CEO of online fashion retailer Boohoo, requesting an open discussion without preconditions, following the latest revelations from an investigative reporter, who went undercover in the company’s Burnley warehouse.

Usdaw has been reportedly inundated with calls from workers asking for assistance to help improve their working lives.

The Times reporter found that workers… “are forced to walk the equivalent of a half-marathon per shift in a sweltering warehouse in which night-time temperatures can reach 32C.

Staff have complained over racist remarks, sexual harassment, unrealistic production targets, inadequate training and poor-fitting equipment.

Some workers have even collapsing in the aisles, with an ambulance called to the site once a month on average.

Usdaw represents employees working at Boohoo’s warehouse and call centre in Burnley along with its head office in Manchester.

Despite this, the fashion retailer continues to refuse to recognise the union, leaving staff without a real voice at work.

Subscribe to Charged Retail for free

Click here to get the latest retail tech news free in your inbox each day

On Black Friday, Usdaw activists will be joining a demonstration outside Boohoo HQ in Manchester organised by Labour Behind the Label.

“For some years we have been seeking a dialogue with Boohoo to enable us to represent our members’ concerns, but we have been met with a wall of silence, while staff have been told in no uncertain terms not to engage with the union,” Usdaw regional secretary Mike Aylward said.

“So, on top of the issues discovered by an undercover reporter, staff feel like they have no way of raising issues with managers or finding resolutions to problems. That is why they need an independent trade union, to give them a voice at work.

“We have yet again asked Boohoo to take the simple step of sitting down with Usdaw to explore how we can work together.

“Staff, the local community, councillors, MPs and campaign organisations all want this to happen, to help make Boohoo an ethical trader.

“The company could go a long way towards repairing their damaged reputation by meeting with Usdaw and engaging in a positive relationship. Regrettably we have still received no response; for the sake of their employees we hope that will change.”



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill out this field
Fill out this field
Please enter a valid email address.