Kulwinder Plaha back at work! August 24th, 2009 Kulwinder Plaha, CWU rep at Carphone’s Wednesbury Logistics Centre, walked back into work. Kulwinder was threatened with the sack for challenging unfair management behaviour.
The CWU welcomes 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 its efforts to support the reinstatement of Sulinder Kumar.
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.
Carphone Warehouse operates 8 large sites around the country. At 7 of them, the company treats trade unionists - members of the Communication Workers Union - decently.
However, at the Wednesbury logistics centre, there is a very different atmosphere, where there has been a campaign to intimidate and dismiss active union members.
Sulinder Kumar, an active CWU member, has been targetted and sacked for raising issues of management style with colleagues and taking out a grievance. Meanwhile, CWU rep Kulwinder Plaha looks set to be sacked on a similar charge, ad is now in the discipline procedure. This is an attack on trade unionists and working people everywhere!
CEO Charles Dunstone needs to take responsibility.
Customers of Carphone Warehouse and the general public need to tell Charle Dunstone to reinstate Sulinder Kumar and Kulwinder Plaha!
STOP VICTMISING TRADE UNIONISTS AT WEDNESBURY
CWU has had mass recruitment in last 2 years at the site - Two other CWU activists have been sacked recently at a site of almost 400 workers where intense union recruitment has taken place in the last two years. Other Carphone Warehouse sites are not currently undergoing such draconian attacks on the CWU's right to organise. Wednesbury is unique in Carphone Warehouse for the level of hostility directed at active union members. By contrast, at another site, a recently accredited rep was welcomed as an asset: a much more modern, mature response. At the Wednesbury site, all levels of management are implicated in the victimsations.
In consequence, the union is demanding that the cases be put into urgent review at a higher level, and that CEO Charles Dunstone takes responsibility for the outcome.
The CWU will vigorously defend our members. We are building awareness and support for the campaign within the union and amongst the general public, and are ready to mobilise supporters publicly if necessary. Join the supporters' facebook group here.
As part of their awareness raising programme, on May 1, International Workers' Day, CWU members from Wednesbury and Dave Salt secretary of their CWU branch spoke at Wolverhampton May Day Rally.
Delegates and visitors filled the room to hear CWU organiser Alan Smith and CWU activist from the repair and distribution centre in Wednesbury at our May 2009 delegate meeting.