UK retail company condemned for 'Victorian' work conditions

LONDON – A damning British parliamentary report has condemned working conditions at a leading sporting goods firm, comparing it to a Victorian workhouse.

The report about retail firm Sports Direct says that founder Mike Ashley should be accountable for conditions in which employees were treated like commodities rather than people.

Parliament’s business committee described evidence of people fearing to take time off work even when ill and of repeated ambulance calls to a company warehouse, including for one woman who gave birth in a bathroom.

Committee chair Iain Wright says the practices are “closer to that of a Victorian workhouse than that of a modern, reputable … retailer.”

The company said Friday it would study the report and that it was their “policy to treat all our people with dignity and respect.”