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Carphone Worker website available from Irlam again – why? April 17, 2009

Posted by tomcwu in Censorship, Irlam.

When journalist Bill Ray of theregister.co.uk phoned up senior figures at the Irlam site, there was initially confusion about why this website had been blocked.

“We were told that the list was pretty random in that it blocked eBay but not Argos, and Tesco but not Sainsbury’s; though those could just be snobbery on the part of those drawing up the list.”

Later, Bill explains, the company admitted that it was because they thought something on the site was innacurate.  However, they’ve so far been unable to explain what these innacuracies are to him, to us,  or – most importantly of all, you would have thought – workers.

We were initally pleased to learn that “negotiations were underway” with us about the site, given that we are always open to dialogue with the company.  But then we remembered that if negotiations were underway, we would have noticed.  Which we haven’t.

Within minutes, the company decided that discretion was the better part of valour, and unblocked the website.  While all this is amusing in a sad sort of way, it is disappointing that the company was more concerned about the opinion of a journalist than of its own workers.

Carphone Worker has no wish for the company to suffer bad publicity (and we did not contact Mr Ray ourselves).  And ultimately, if workers in the Irlam SMC want a voice that counts just as much as Mr Ray’s, then the union is here to help them build that voice.

Read Bill Ray’s story here.



1. tomcwu - April 17, 2009

An Irlam worker has written to let us know that the company’s original statement to the journalist was even less true than it first appears.

“there is no website block! We can access everything, including eBay!! Which is why it was so strange finding one site blocked.”


2. tomcwu - April 17, 2009

From a previous average of around 50 hits a day, this site has now had nearly 1,200, and it is only midday.

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