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More backing for victimised Carphone rep June 24, 2009

Posted by tomcwu in International, Union busting.

CWU anger at the victimisation of two CWU reps at Carphone Warehouse’s logistics depot in Wednesbury in the West Midlands has entered a new phase with support being garnered from an overseas union leader and a leading human rights lawyer.


“The two reps, both of whom are Asian, were suspended – one, Sulinder Kumar, has been already been sacked, and the other, Kulwinder Plaha, is still awaiting a disciplinary hearing. The CWU is convinced the suspensions and sacking represent a clear case of union-busting activity by a company determined to do its utmost to prevent the establishment of trade union organisation at the site.

News of the dismissal and victimisations triggered an emergency motion at CWU annual conference at the start of the month, with delegates voting unanimously for a high profile campaign to highlight Carphone Warehouse’s actions.”

That campaign is now in the process of being set in motion.  Since conference, moves to maximise backing for the sacked CWU reps have gathered pace, with a meeting taking place last week with an Indian union which is organising at call centres and Talk Talk in that country.

Bangalore-based ‘Unites Professionals’ general secretary Karthik Shekar met with CWU organiser Dougie Rafferty in Glasgow along with Amar Anwar – a human rights lawyer and activist, well known throughout the Asian community in the UK and beyond.

Following a successful meeting, at which the wider ramifications of Carphone Warehouse’s increasingly union-hostile approach was discussed, Dougie told the Voice: “This means that in two significant areas we are making links with the behaviour and operations of Carphone Warehouse (CPW).

Dougie added: “Both Karthik and Amar were shocked by the attitude and actions of CPW regarding our members in Wednesbury. Amar will be able to use his contacts on human rights throughout the UK to raise the profile of the campaign.”

CPW is a truly international company and Karthik and I discussed ways in which his union and the CWU could combine our efforts to raise awareness about trade unionism in CPW both here, in India and across the CPW international landscape”.



1. David - June 26, 2009

How are you working to promote the union across CPW retail? Im sure a lot of retail staff would join your fight if they knew about it.

2. tomcwu - July 7, 2009

Hi David,

We’re trying to build up a network of contacts working in retail around the country, to get an idea of what issues are important to retail workers in different areas. If you’re interested in helping, please get in touch!

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