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Shift changes anyone? August 6, 2011

Posted by eddiefitz in Consultation, News, Shifts, Warrington.
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The only constant in life is…Change.

Thats certainly true when it comes to shift patterns being looked at, modified, changed or whatever its called.

The upshot is that the changes in shift patterns causes issues to many. Child care, poor public transport, weekend working to name but three.

So what can YOU do when a proposed change starts to be rollled out?

Firstly, is it going to cause you serious issues? If so, you need to raise these with your manager to see if the impact of the proposals can be minimised.


It might all depend on what your contract determines.

As part of your contract of employment, you should have a contractual number of hours (the number of hours you need to work either weekly, monthly or annually) and then have a ‘contractual span’ (what timeframes you may have to work those hours).

Because you may already work some weekends, its assumed your contractual span covers weekends already. There might be some other policy document that determines how many weekends you have to work, but if this is not a clause within your contractual span, this can be changed as the company may try to do in the future – as long as they can reasonably justify the request in the context of the needs of the business.

There are circumstances where the business might have an obligation to accommodate special requests to limit the regularity of weekend working, but these would normally be issues that have some legislative protection such as childcare or caring responsibilities or managing a disability or it’s symptoms. Unfortunately, your personal life is not something the company are obliged to accommodate.

As a good employer, they can accommodate it if they want, but they don’t have to.

remember, your opinion counts and after all, We are in the Communications Industry.


Shops: proposed cuts to full time positions leave workers asking questions September 2, 2009

Posted by tomcwu in Shifts, Shops.
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Carphone Worker hears that some full time positions are being cut in most regions across the country, with the result that some staff will be forced on to part time contracts, and to move to work in other stores.  As ever, the communications process from the top is a clear as mud, with as much being speculation and hearsay, rather than a straightforward set out plan.  But from several different locations, we hear:

  • Around four full time positions are being cut per region (apparently, in those regions where people have contacted us)
  • Some workers have been told they may be asked to move shops, or even to work in two different shops during the working week
  • Some workers  have been told they may be asked to start working part time hours

We understand that some of these proposed changes may not be legitimate, given workers’ terms and conditions – and we’d advise everyone to look at their contract of employment.  If you are concerned about these changes, and want to know how about questioning whether they should be implemented for you, contact Tom on 07894 461713 or tdale@cwu.org.  If you have more information or advice, post below.


A CWU organiser has found what is probably at the root of this, as described by an press release posted on Personnel Today:

The Carphone Warehouse, has selected Kronos for Retail [a computer program] to manage the scheduling of 5,000 staff across seven European countries.

Kronos will provide a fully automated employee scheduling solution that will analyse historical trading data, projected sales figures, labour standards, and employee availability before creating the optimum staffing schedule for each store.

We will give a coconut to anyone who can find a mention of looking after workers anywhere in the press release.  Feeling ‘optimised’ now?

p.s. Carphone Worker hates to sound like a broken record.  But this stuff doesn’t just happen with a strong, active, well organised union.  Shop workers are joining the CWU slowly but steadily.  Join us!  If you want to be active with the union, and want to speak to other active members, get in touch!

Wanted at Wednesbury: night shifts and, erm, running water? July 29, 2009

Posted by tomcwu in Health & Safety, Shifts, Wednesbury.

Should the night shift be brought back?

Night shift workers transferred onto day shifts at Wednesbury Logistic Centre are convinced that overtime working on Saturdays is proof that the company’s decision to cease the night shift was badly judged. Many of the night shift workers are unhappy that they have been forced onto days – one CWU member said, “Many people have been working on nights for years – they have family responsibilities that mean they need to be available during normal working hours, and the night shift meant they could do that.” She added, “The company hasn’t been very sensitive over the hours people work on the day shift either – which would have been one way of giving people the flexibility they need to care for their families”.  Workers at the site report there is a backlog of repairs already, in spite of the overtime, and many would be happy to see the night shift return.

Tapping your potential!


A recent crisis at Wednesbury Logistics Centre highlighted the need for health and safety reps at the site. The water supply to the site was cut for several hours on Monday 27th July; fortunately only for a few hours but the impact on staff at the site was immediate – with no drinking water, no flushing toilets and no way of washing their hands.

The Health and Safety Executive advice in such situations is for Health and Safety reps to liaise with the company to find ways of working around the problem – unfortunately we don’t have any safety reps at Wednesbury!  Could you be that rep?  It’s a positive role and one for which you will receive training and plenty of CWU support.  Help make a positive difference at work and add to your CV. Contact CWU organiser Alan Smith on 07894 461710 or asmith@cwu.org

More shifty business… this time for Tech Support in Preston April 15, 2009

Posted by tomcwu in Pay, Preston, Shifts, TalkTalk.
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Following our report last week of the proposed shift changes for Carphone Networks workers in Irlam, it seems that similar shenanigans are going on for TalkTalk Tech Support workers at Tulketh Mill in Preston.  Local branch officer Glenn Slater has produced a briefing for workers in the team.

Download the briefing here as a PDF: Tech support (TT Preston) Shift Change Briefing


SMC Irlam – company has not made the case for shift changes or extra hours April 9, 2009

Posted by tomcwu in Consultation, Irlam, Shifts, SMC, TTT.

image0011More than 100 Carphone Networks Service Management Centre workers at the Irlam site are faced with serious changes to terms and conditions, as the company proposes that they work between two and five extra hours a week, including many more evenings and weekends.  Some weeks, compulsory shifts will cover more than 50 hours, and both weekend days.  There will be no associated remuneration, making the pay freeze a pay cut – not only in real terms but per hour.

And what’s more, the company has so far refused to provide the data to back up its claim that the changes are necessary to meet customer demand.   Local Communication Workers Union branch officer James Samuels has advised workers that this is not good enough under law, and offered to back members up. (more…)