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60 more redundancies at North Acton April 30, 2009

Posted by tomcwu in News.

You can’t eat an orange and then throw the peel away – a man is not a piece of fruit”
– Willie Lomax in Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman.

As rumoured for the past few days, 60 workers in Customer Support and Fanatical Support in North Acton have today been put on 30 days consultation for redudancy.  Around 20 further redundancies have also been announced at Wednesbury, and there may be a few others elsewhere.  Carphone Worker urges all workers affected by this announcement, and who may be affected by future announcements to get in touch with us.

We will do our best to advise you through the redundancy process. But some quick words of advice: stick together, don’t let them play you off against each other, and be confident and quick in making proposals to keep as many people in jobs as possible.  At other sites, it tends to be the young family men and women who suffer most, or those with care responsibilties – who don’t find it so easy to fit their care needs round other jobs available in other parts of the group.  Don’t leave these people behind.

As a union, even at this stage we may be able to help.  We could do a lot more if we were already organised.  As an example, at BT, which is heavily unionised by the CWU, there have been no compulsory redundancies for aroud 20 years.  Companies can be held to account by their workers, if the workers are willing to stick together and demand that accountability.  Otherwise, there is the risk that workers will be seen as little more than numbers on a screen.

The quote at the top of the article expresses this idea.  You can’t suck someone for what they’re worth and push them out the door when you’re done.  Or you can, if you’re Charles Dunstone, you’ve got an un-unionised workforce, and you’re trying to strip down a company for sale to your US based partners, Best Buy.  But no one should be able to do this so casually.  Not now, not in the future.  Because Carphone and TalkTalk employees are neither numbers, nor fruit.

This is the reason, now and in the future, we need to be organised in an active union.



1. mad hatter! - April 30, 2009

Everyone else gets 3 months, why only one month?

tomcwu - May 1, 2009

Because there are less than 100 people involved, so the legal provision is different. After the initial 450, the company has been careful to package redundancy announcements in units of fewer than 100 people to avoid having to consult for 90 days.

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