CWU march in Wednesbury: company closes site for the day July 20, 2009Posted by tomcwu in Union busting, Wednesbury.
On Saturday, more than 100 CWU members and local trade unionists marched through Wednesbury to the gates of the Carphone Warehouse Logistics Centre to tell the company: Enough is enough! Stop victimising CWU members for daring to speak out for justice at work!
As we have previously reported, Sulinder Kumar, an active member of the CWU has been sacked, and Kulwinder Plaha, CWU rep on site, is threatened with the sack. The charges? The company is saying that the decision of both men to take out a grievance against a manager for unfair behaviour in a disciplinary proces is harrassment! Local managers pursued a vindictive campaign, actively interviewing dozens of staff in an (unsuccessful) attempt to find someone who could credibly testify against the two. Is this how Carphone responds to employees using its own procedures?
The company decided to close the site for the day in response to the CWU march. This shows that the company does not want workers to see a demonstration of union strength; they’d rather they let work slip than let workers have contact with the union: a sad contrast to the attitude at other sites.
Marchers handed out around 800 leaflets explaining the situation to the public in Wednesbury, who were very supportive. Rallies at the gates of the Wednesbury site and in the town centre were addressed by senior figures from the CWU, local trade unionists, and union members working at other Carphone sites who had travelled down to show their support.
The next stage in the campaign is a week of action, in which thousands more leaflets will be handed to the public outside Carphone stores up and down the country. We will not allow our members to be victimised quietly. Carphone must account publicly for how it treats its workers. Get in touch if you would like to help with our campaign!