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New Government Tsar Must Investigate ASOS Warehouse

Thursday, January 12, 2017

GMB calls on new Government tsar to investigate ASOS working conditions as online retailer posts bumper profits

Union calls on Labour Enforcement Tsar to investigate Barnsley warehouse as fast-fashion retailer announces UK sales climbed by 18% over Christmas.

GMB, the union for ASOS workers, has called on newly appointed Government labour market tsar Sir David Metcalf to investigate the company over concerns about working practices in its Barnsley warehouse [1].

It comes as ASOS announced results showing today that its UK sales climbed by 18% over the Christmas period.

In December, the Mirror revealed information, obtained by a Freedom of Information (FOI) request, showing that between 1 January 2014 and 3 November 2016, 999 crews were called 120 times to the site of the ASOS warehouse in Barnsley – with cases including falls, back injuries, fits, psychiatric issues and suicide bids [2]

The Mirror’s own investigation follows earlier investigations by both Buzzfeed [3] and BBC News [4] which uncovered worrying allegations about the practices at ASOS’s warehouse.

In a letter to newly appointed Director of Labour Market Enforcement, Sir David Metcalf, GMB calls for a full investigation and enforcement action where needed.

GMB has been running a campaign at the Barnsley site since August 2015 and in November launched a whistleblowing helpline for ASOS workers to allow anonymous reporting of concerns about terms and conditions and working practices.

Neil Derrick, GMB Regional Secretary said:

"ASOS have got their Christmas bonus but their profits have been made off the backs of their warehouse workers in Barnsley. It's their workers who are paying the price."

“There are now solid grounds for further investigation into the working conditions our members face - not least why there have been so many emergency call outs to the site. It is deeply troubling and must be investigated.”

"ASOS cannot go on hiding from these mounting concerns. It's high time they worked constructively with GMB to make their warehouse a fairer and safer place of work."


GMB Press Office 07958 156846 or at


For more details of GMB's Respect ASOS Workers' Campaign -

[1] GMB Letter to Sir David Metcalf, Director of Labour Market Enforcement 12.01.17 — 

[2] Mirror -

[3] Buzzfeed –

[4] BBC -

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