Socialist Worker

JJB strikers demand action over use of agency labour

by Charlie Kimber
Issue No. 2027

JJB workers protested last week at the use of agency labour and the authorities’ delay in acting - the “dog that didn’t bark” (Pic: Socialist Worker)

JJB workers protested last week at the use of agency labour and the authorities’ delay in acting - the “dog that didn’t bark” (Pic: Socialist Worker)


A delegation of JJB strikers travelled to London on Thursday of last week to demand government action over the use of agency labour during their strikes.

They delivered a letter to the Employment Agencies Standards Inspectorate (EAS) with the names of staff who are supplied by agencies during strikes.

The GMB wrote three weeks ago to local employment agencies in Wigan formally warning them of the impending trades’ dispute at JJB Sports and of their legal duty to stay out of it.

It informed the agencies of their duty under the Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Business Regulations 2003, which makes it illegal for agencies to supply labour to companies during a trade dispute.

The agencies that the GMB says are supplying labour are Heads Recruitment, Bond Personnel and Lightyear Recruitment Limited.

The agencies say that this is just part of the normal ebbs and flows of labour supply and not connected to the strike.

The EAS has now said it will interview the firms involved.

On the delegation were shop steward Joan Simpson and warehouse picker Mary Ball.

They told Socialist Worker, “Our strikes are really effective. On a normal day we send out 21 full lorries. On strike days only one full lorry and four part-full ones are leaving.

“With Christmas coming our strikes can hit hard. It’s a disgrace that Whelan wants to pay us just 1p more than the minimum wage.

“But this strike is building the union. Over 30 workers have joined the union since the action began.”


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