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Week of action begins! July 27, 2009

Posted by tomcwu in Carphone Worker News Sheet, Shops, Union busting.
2 comments

Up and down the country this week, members of the Communication Workers Union will be raising public awareness of the victimisation of two CWU members for speaking out at work, and standing up for fair treatment.  The two members at the company’s Wednesbury logistics centre have been sacked for speaking out at work.

CWU members will be engaging with the public outside Carphone Warehouse stores, handing out leaflets.  However, because we are a union for all workers, we are not asking the public to boycott the shops: sales staff in shops depend on the commision.  CWU members will also be engaging with workers in the shops to explain what we are doing and why, and to give out the first edition of Carphone Shop Worker, a news sheet for staff in shops.

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The CWU has been forced to take this action by the intransigence of local management in Wednesbury, and senior management at Group level, who refuse even to respond to our letters.  For more information, contact Tom Dale on tdale@cwu.org or 07894 461713.

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CWU march in Wednesbury: company closes site for the day July 20, 2009

Posted by tomcwu in Union busting, Wednesbury.
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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!

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More backing for victimised Carphone rep June 24, 2009

Posted by tomcwu in International, Union busting.
2 comments

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.

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“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”.

Carphone union busting at Wednesbury – PROTEST NOW! June 16, 2009

Posted by tomcwu in News, Union busting, Wednesbury.
1 comment so far

As we’ve reported previously, Carphone Warehouse is trying to bust the union at Wednesbury.  Last week, they turned down an appeal by CWU member Sulinder Kumar against his sacking.  This week, it looks like the company is set to sack union rep Kulwinder Plaha.

Sulinder Kumar and Kulwinder Plaha

Sulinder Kumar and Kulwinder Plaha

As we have described previously, there is no doubt that both have been sacked for trade union activity.  The company has not gone to great lengths to disguise this.  Their excuse is that the real reason is that the attempts by both men to stand up for their rights – by taking out a grievance against a manager – constitute harassment!  Is it harassment to use established company procedures to raise complaints about unfair treatment?  Carphon Warehouse, and CEO Charles Dunstone, seem to think so!

This is an attack on all Carphone Warehouse workers.  This is an attack on all trade unionists; an attack on the right to organise.

We need you to support the two victimised men!  We know from past campaigns that messages of protest do make a difference.  Write to CEO Charles Dunstone, asking him to take responsibility; asking him to reinstate the two, and end the culture of union busting at Wednesbury.  You can make up your own message, or use the template below.  Please write to dunstonec@cpw.co.uk and cc: CWU organiser Tom Dale tdale@cwu.org.

Dear Charles Dunstone,

Re: Victimisations of active CWU members at Wednesbury Logistics Centre

I am writing in protest at the disgraceful treatment of CWU members at the Wednesbury Logistics Centre.  The sacking of Sulinder Kumar and the current discipline case against Kulwinder Plaha are clearly attacks on the right to organise a union; revenge for the fact that the two dared to speak out.  It is disgraceful that a company should be acting like this in the 21st Century.

I urge you to see to it that the two men are reinstated immediately, and that the culture of union busting at the Wednesbury site end now.  Please keep me informed of your decisions in this matter.

Sincerely,

Carphone Warehouse: stop victimising trade unionists at Wednesbury! May 8, 2009

Posted by tomcwu in Union busting, Wednesbury.
5 comments

Two CWU members are being victimised by the company for trade union activity at the Wednesbury Logistics Centre.  One, Sulinder Kumar, has already been sacked (though he is appealing), and another – CWU’s rep on site – is currently facing disciplinary proceedings on a similar charge. The charges relate to the fact that both members were willing to challenge unfair management practices through raising grievances – as is their right.  Local managers, apparently believing they will not be held to account, have decided that sacking is an appropriate response. (more…)