Saturday, January 02, 2016

Pressure pays off

It seems that even ruthless, hard-nosed capitalists can be susceptible to the narrative that says Christmas is a time for giving - well, either that, or media investigations sharply critical of their business practices can shame them into changing their ways.

However, the news that Mike Ashley will now ensure Sports Direct employees are paid the national minimum wage has not been greeted with universal acclaim. The increase doesn't apply to those members of staff on zero-hours contracts, has been branded a "PR stunt" by the union Unite and addresses only one of the key issues raised by the Guardian's investigation.

Ashley has told the Mirror that he wants to transform his company into "the best high street retail employer after John Lewis". Speaking from the perspective of a Newcastle Utd fan, it would be nice for him to show a similar level of ambition with regard to the football club he owns.

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