'Catwalk of shame' protest outside ASOS headquarters over working conditions for warehouse staff

A workers’ union held a fashion-themed protest outside ASOS on the day of its annual general meeting, asking for the company to “treat workers with respect”.

The GMB union claims some of the 4,000 workers at the Xpro-run ASOS warehouse facility in Barnsley, England are being treated unfairly, with issues ranging from intrusive searches to excessive working hours and cancelling shifts at late notice.

It also claims union representatives have been denied access to the site to speak with their members and the wider workforce.

Protesters from the union paraded on a red carpet set up in front of Greater London House, ASOS’ London headquarters, chanting “treat your workers with respect”.

“They are steadfastly refusing to allow the union of the worker’s choice to speak on behalf of the workforce,” Neil Derrick, the regional secretary for GMB in Yorkshire said. “We firmly believe that if they don’t listen to the union, this will be the next Sports Direct.”

During the protest, Derrick was invited inside headquarters to talk with the company but would not discuss the exchange.

Derrick says customers can also get involved: “We encourage ASOS customers to write to the chief executive to raise their concerns because a lot of customers buy into ethical trading. That’s why we’re talking about fashion with integrity.”

The Government’s Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy committee has opened an inquiry into the future world of work, covering the status and rights of agency workers and working conditions for people working in “non-traditional roles”.

ASOS could not be reached for comment at this time.

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