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Carphone union busting at Wednesbury – PROTEST NOW! June 16, 2009

Posted by tomcwu in News, Union busting, Wednesbury.

As we’ve reported previously, Carphone Warehouse is trying to bust the union at Wednesbury.  Last week, they turned down an appeal by CWU member Sulinder Kumar against his sacking.  This week, it looks like the company is set to sack union rep Kulwinder Plaha.

Sulinder Kumar and Kulwinder Plaha

Sulinder Kumar and Kulwinder Plaha

As we have described previously, there is no doubt that both have been sacked for trade union activity.  The company has not gone to great lengths to disguise this.  Their excuse is that the real reason is that the attempts by both men to stand up for their rights – by taking out a grievance against a manager – constitute harassment!  Is it harassment to use established company procedures to raise complaints about unfair treatment?  Carphon Warehouse, and CEO Charles Dunstone, seem to think so!

This is an attack on all Carphone Warehouse workers.  This is an attack on all trade unionists; an attack on the right to organise.

We need you to support the two victimised men!  We know from past campaigns that messages of protest do make a difference.  Write to CEO Charles Dunstone, asking him to take responsibility; asking him to reinstate the two, and end the culture of union busting at Wednesbury.  You can make up your own message, or use the template below.  Please write to dunstonec@cpw.co.uk and cc: CWU organiser Tom Dale tdale@cwu.org.

Dear Charles Dunstone,

Re: Victimisations of active CWU members at Wednesbury Logistics Centre

I am writing in protest at the disgraceful treatment of CWU members at the Wednesbury Logistics Centre.  The sacking of Sulinder Kumar and the current discipline case against Kulwinder Plaha are clearly attacks on the right to organise a union; revenge for the fact that the two dared to speak out.  It is disgraceful that a company should be acting like this in the 21st Century.

I urge you to see to it that the two men are reinstated immediately, and that the culture of union busting at the Wednesbury site end now.  Please keep me informed of your decisions in this matter.




1. William Brownings - June 28, 2009

This is the letter I have just sent:
Dear Charles Dunston

I am writing to you regarding Sulinder Kumar and Kulwinder Plaha. I understand from information supplied to me via Facebook that you have recently decided to remove Sulinder from his post and are now presently taking disciplinary action against Kulwinder Plaha on the grounds of harrassment in both cases. I also understand that the two men are members and officers of the Communication Workers Union.

I am also a member of a union – the Union of Colleges and Universities and a union representative for my local union branch – Hackney Community College.

I believe that it is vital that union members be allowed to go about the business of representing their members in the workplace without (percieved) harrassment or intimidation from their employers. Clearly, there is a perceived case of harrassment and intimidation at your site and I would strongly urge you to reconsider your actions regarding these two men to date accordingly.

I would ask you to revoke the decision to dismiss Sulinder and to drop the disciplinary case against Kulwinder and to adopt a more constructive and conciliatory approach towards these and other union members. I urge you to do this because of my sincere belief that union membership and activity are a vital component of a free and democratic society.

If you choose not to adopt a more concilitiory approach I will, in my capacity as Publicity Officer for my branch, feel the need to highlight the campaign for reinstatement in the newlsetter of the branch and will raise the matter also with union publicity officers within my region.

Kind regards

William brownings
UCU Publicity Rep HCC Branch
(personal capacity)

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