About 200 of the 266 unionized workers at JJB Sports’ central distribution center at Wigan have started to stage a series of one-day strikes. According to press reports quoting union officials, the workers, who belong to Britain’s General Union, began the walkout after David Whelan, chairman and main shareholder of JJB, branded them as “communists” in the course of negotiations over their request for a guaranteed basic rate and equal access to a bonus scheme for all the workers in the warehouse. Noting that their action has not yet had a disruptive effect on supplies to the stores, company officials say they want a higher fixed pay without an incentive scheme. The British retailer is using agency workers to supplement the strikers while the negotiations go on.