jump to navigation

What are your rights to join, and organise, a union? September 8, 2009

Posted by tomcwu in Rights.

we will never stand in the way of any employee becoming a member of the CWU or any other unions and any such membership will never affect the way in which an employee is treated at the CPW.

– company briefing, 24th July 2009

So what are your legal rights to join the CWU and become active – by being a rep, for example?  We asked an officer in the CWU’s legal department to give us the legal low down…

Under the Employment Rights Act 1996, there are various situations in which employees (and, in one or two instances, workers who are not ’employees’) have the legal right not to be subjected to any detriment by their employer for exercising (or presuming to exercise) their statutory rights:

Under the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992, section 146 workers have the right not to be subjected to any detriment as individuals by any act, or any deliberate failure to act, by their employer if the act or failure takes place for the purpose of:

  • preventing or deterring them from being or seeking to become members of an independent trade union, or penalising them for doing so;
  • preventing or deterring them from taking part in the activities of an independent trade union at an appropriate time, or penalising them for doing so;
  • preventing or deterring them from making use of trade union services at an appropriate time, or penalising them for doing so; or
  • compelling them to be or become members of any trade union or of a particular trade union or of one of a number of particular trade unions.

The expression ‘an appropriate time’ in this context means a time outside a worker’s working hours or a time within his or her working hours at which, in accordance with arrangements agreed with, or consent given by, the employer, it is permissible for him or her to take part in the trade union activities or make use of trade union services.

‘Trade union services’ means services made available to a worker by an independent union because of his or her membership of that union, and making use of such services includes a worker’s consenting to a matter being raised on his or her behalf by the union.

Workers who have been subjected to a detriment in these circumstances may complain to an employment tribunal. If the tribunal finds a complaint to be well founded it will make a declaration to that effect and may award appropriate compensation (Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992, section 149).

So,  even ‘deterring’ someone from becoming active with the union during their own time – for instance, during lunch breaks – would make the company liable for a compensation claim at employment tribunal…



1. e k - November 12, 2009

last week alone I lost 250 in lost wages due to the ‘new deal’ i will not be paid properly despite 100 wcss and nearly 200% personal target! ITS A JOKE over the past 4 years carphone has gone from being a fantastic place to work to a petty, miserable place to be, those responsible should be ashamed. Its treatment of staff is disgusting and they need to be stopped. This month i see wcss coments such as ‘the lighting made me feel sick’ and ‘the computors are running slow’ rejepordising bonus yet again while staff are working none stop to try and hit frankly unacheivable targets within a store which has seen 6 managers in a year and is running on nearly half headcount due to company mismanagment. What more do cpw want from us I can no longer afford basic things such as heating yet like an idiot I still work myself ill because I dont want to let down the rest of my team. Its time all cpw employees stood together and stopped the company behaving in such an appalling way. Sales and wcss are dictated by the managment of stores and cpw should be accountable to us aswell as the other way around. I urge all cpw employees to join this union and call for a december strike! Carphone have hit us where it hurts lets repay the favour!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: