Here are some of the things Communication Workers Union members want to achieve within the Carphone Warehouse Group.
Carphone Warehouse: 21st Century censorship!
This website, carphoneworker.co.uk, is banned across all Carphone and TalkTalk locations – oddly, apart from Irlam. After originally pretending that there were innacuracies on this site, the company has now given up on this line and has said that they’re censoring us because… well, they don’t like the union, and they feel like it, basically. We don’t feel that this is acceptable, particularly from a communications company in the 21st century. We’re calling on the company to stop acting like a nanny employer or a tinpot dictator, and allow employees to access this site and make up their own minds!
No victimisations at Wednesbury!
Active union members have been victimised at the Group’s Wednesbury logistics centre. The three, including one officially nominated CWU rep, have been picked on for reasons including trade union activity and speaking up against management unfairnes – one has been sacked and another risks losing their job. The Communication Workers Union does not accept intimidation or victimisation of our active members, and we will be campaigning vigorously locally, regionally and nationally to defend them.
Never go in alone!
Every worker has a right to be accompanied at a discipline or grievance hearing by a colleague or – if they are a union member – by a trained union officer. The best way to ensure that discipline and grievances are carried out fairly is for every worker to have access to advice and advocacy from a colleague or union officer. To advance this campaign, we need to increase membership, so the number of workers with access to external support is as high as possible. But we also need to develop a network of workplace reps and advocates, so that every worker has access to direct support in their own workplace from a trained union member. If you are interested in being a workplace rep or advocate, find out more on our Getting Involved page.
Better jobs, better service!
Sometimes, we know that customers get frustrated with the Carphone Warehouse, or TalkTalk. But we want customers to know that most often, their frustrations are not the fault of workers, but rather the combination of pressures under which they are placed through high targets, high turnover, insufficient training, and a shrinking workforce. This means that customers should not take their frustrations out on workers. We want Carphone customers to join with union members in asking the company to work with the union to achieve better service through more, better jobs.
Redeployment, not redundancies!
In March ’09, 450 redundancies were announced across the Carphone Warehouse group, with further, smaller redundancy announcements following in the weeks afterward. The Communication Workers Union believes that in a healthy company like Carphone Warehouse, with a relatively high staff turnover there is ample room for employees to be transfered to suitable alternative work elsewhere in the Group. In fact, we knew there was ample room, because in some locations the Group is actually advertising externally for people to do very similar jobs! It is not enough to offer workers the chance to apply: they must be given the opportunity to transfer to the new work. CWU members were active in minimising the amount of jobs which went, and making sure that transfer opportunities were as fair as possible.