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Proxy Alert: Sports Direct PLC

The CWC and our partners have recommended to vote in favour of the following shareholder proposal on the basis of ESG issues of concern to the trade union movement.

Sports Direct International Shareholder Resolution: The Trade Union Share Owners (TUSO), a group of investors representing the financial assets of the labour movement with  over £1bn in assets under management, recommends a VOTE FOR resolution 19 that the board commissions an independent review of Sports Direct International PLC’s human capital management strategy and report back to shareholders within six months.

For more information, please refer to our Proxy Alert and the TUSO Sports Direct Shareholder letter.

The Proposal

THAT the board commissions an independent review of Sports Direct International plc’s human capital management strategy and report back to shareholders within six months.

As over 100 shareholders in Sports Direct, we believe the company’s current approach to human capital management will compromise its long-term growth and shareholder value in the UK as well as in continental Europe.

We therefore request the board commissions an independent review of human capital management at the company to ensure that appropriate measures are being taken in the interests of long-term growth for the company and long-term shareholder value.

This review should consider the incorporation of the following standards into the company’s business model: 

1. A Living wage: We believe all workers at Sports Direct need a wage they can live on. Paying decent wages has been shown to reduce staff turnover and absenteeism.  Currently the Living Wage Foundation defines the living wage as £8.25 an hour in the UK and £9.40 an hour in London.

2. Safe and secure work, including guaranteed hours: We believe the provision of a safe work environment will protect Sports Direct from operational, financial and reputational risk, and beyond these risk    considerations, will secure increased shareholder value in the long-term. Workers should be able to expect stable hours or permanent contracts.

3. Training, development and career opportunities: We believe that training and development enables workers to be more productive and creative, and that boosting its training provision would thus allow Sports Direct to add real value to its investment in human capital.

4. Collective voice and trade union representation: We believe that negotiation and consultation with workers is the most effective way for Sports Direct to engage with its workforce as part of an effective human capital management strategy.

 

The review should be carried out by an individual or organisation that is independent of the company and has no financial, commercial or personal relationship with any board member. This individual or organisation appointed to undertake the review should be acceptable to Sports Direct workers and their representatives. The results of the review should be reported to the Board of Directors and shareholders within six months of the AGM.

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