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Welcome November 27, 2011

Posted by eddiefitz in About us, Carphone Warehouse, Getting involved, Irlam, Kelvin Close, News, Preston, Rights, TalkTalk, TTT, Warrington, Wednesbury.
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The Reps and fellow members of the CWU would like to offer a warm welcome to all those who have joined us in the last few months.

If you haven’t received your membership card yet you soon will. If you have any questions please contact and we will do our best to help you.

If you haven’t already, check out SOME of the many BENEFITS of your union membership here; http://www.cwu.org/benefits.html and

http://www.cwu.one1one.co.uk/  and http://www.cwu.one1one.co.uk/specialoffers.cfm




Together we can make a REAL difference

Any organisation needs honest feedback on how it is doing and we, the administrators of the ‘Workers site welcome your thoughts, ideas and feedback on what we can do to help you gain information and improve the service the CWU provides.

The union movement is all about involvment and input. If you want to get involved either as a rep or as a point of contact please contact us. Remember all correspondence to this site is confidential.

Taking any active role in the movement will increase your knowledge and your awareness of  the issues we all face in employment and society in general.

Becoming a union member helps us all to achieve…….

Respect and Dignity in the Workplace

 “Where trade unions are most firmly organized, there are the rights of the people most respected. “

Samuel Gompers

CWU main site www.cwu.org/home/

Stress UPDATED October 23, 2011

Posted by eddiefitz in Carphone Warehouse, Health & Safety, Irlam, Kelvin Close, News, Opal, Preston, Rights, Shops, SMC, Stanford House, Stress, TalkTalk, TTT, Warrington, Wednesbury.
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UPDATED 23/10/2011

Management Standards for work related stress

Under UK law, employers have a ‘duty of care’ to protect the health, safety and welfare of all employees while at work. They also have to assess the risks arising from hazards at work including work-related stress.

What are the Management Standards for work related stress?

The Management Standards define the characteristics, or culture, of an organisation where the risks from work related stress are being effectively managed and controlled.

The Management Standards cover six key areas of work design that, if not properly managed, are associated with poor health and well-being, lower productivity and increased sickness absence. In other words, the six Management Standards cover the primary sources of stress at work.

see http://www.hse.gov.uk/stress/standards/  for the six Management Standards

SEE ALSO ; http://www.employmentlawwatch.com/tags/dickins-v-o2/

Part time workers and PC users October 22, 2011

Posted by eddiefitz in Carphone Warehouse, Health & Safety, Kelvin Close, News, Opal, Part Time Workers, Preston, Rights, Shops, SMC, Stanford House, Stress, Wednesbury.
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Part time workers and PC users

Many part-time workers are often forced to work their short shift without a break. The regulations are clear that until six hours are worked there is no automatic right to a break.

Yet, this can be concidered unreasonable for all workers. In particular when working with a PC monitor and keyboard or in need of drinks and toilet breaks.

If you are a part timer and instructed by your manager that you are not entitled to a break then concider asking for small “comfort breaks” to allow time away from the your desk to stretch your legs and have a break from the PC.

The regulations may state one thing but your body and mind may tell you another and you need a break.  Afterall your full time colleagues have a break every two to three hours on average so why cant a part timer?

The regulations for PC oprators is covered by regulations on the link below.


Most jobs provide opportunities to take a break from the screen, eg to do filing
or photocopying. Make use of them. If there are no such natural breaks in your
job, your employer should plan for you to have rest breaks. Frequent short
breaks are better than fewer long ones.

other links of interest.




Kulwinder Plaha back at work! August 25, 2009

Posted by tomcwu in Carphone Warehouse, Uncategorized, Wednesbury.

Yesterday morning Kulwinder Plaha, CWU rep at Carphone’s Wednesbury Logistics Centre, walked back into work.  As Carphone Worker has reported, Kulwinder was threatened with the sack for challenging unfair management behaviour.

We welcome the company’s decision to reinstate Kulwinder, without any disciplinary sanction whatsoever, and hope that this is a signal of a more constructive approach to employee relations at the site.

The CWU will continue in our efforts to support the reinstatement of Sulinder Kumar.

For more on the CWU’s campaign see here and here.   We got international and domestic union support.  Carphone Worker recognises the contribution, and thanks, those who have been a part of making this happen.  United we stand.


Doublethink August 19, 2009

Posted by tomcwu in Carphone Warehouse, Consultation, Wednesbury.
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It’s interesting to compare two accounts of a recent meeting held by senior management at Wednesbury to gauge staff opinions.  Reverse Logistics Director Niall McPhee gushes that the visitors:

were struck by the amount of pride and dedication that the team have towards their responsibility of supporting the business & its customers. They now have a clearer view of the issues that are restricting our operational performance & the things that really matter relating to employee engagement within the business

However, Carphone Worker hears:

All that was said by the workers in those sessions was how the place has changed and isn’t being run as efficiently as it used to be or could be and that people have lost trust and faith in management decisions.

Interesting how two such different accounts can emerge out of one meeting, isn’t it? This is one of the problems with company organised consultation: you can say what you like, but it doesn’t mean it gets heard…

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

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

Posted 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!



swine flu outbreak at carphone’s wednesbury site (seriously…) July 3, 2009

Posted by tomcwu in Health & Safety, Wednesbury.
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Carphone Worker hears from workers on site that there are two confirmed cases of swine flu at the Wednesbury Logistics Centre.  This urgently raises the issue of what steps the company is taking to safeguard the health of their employees.

A Communication Workers Union rep raised the issue of swine flue with senior managers shortly after news of the first cases hit the headlines.  Our rep asked what measures were being taken to reduce the likelihood of infection spreading within the workplace.

An email to TalkTalk employees the next day contained the business’s response contained no answers as such. However, it did establish that working groups were being set up:

Our plans will look at a range of responses including: prioritising of critical work, re-allocating staff, extending home working, moving work to areas unaffected.

What was the outcome of the “cross-Group forum” which was to be set up to look at the risk of swine flue?  What plans are in place to safeguard employee welfare if further cases are discovered – at Wednesbury or other sites?  Were any of the above possibilitie agreed upon, and when would they be triggered? Can we see the policies and plans, and if not why not?

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

Posted by tomcwu in News, Union busting, Wednesbury.
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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.


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

Posted by tomcwu in Union busting, Wednesbury.

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…)