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Carphone Warehouse resolves union site ambiguity

By banning site completely

Website security in corporate America

Carphone Warehouse has resolved the confusion surrounding the blocking of a union website, by explaining that the company provides for all employees' needs, thus making the union redundant.

CarphoneWorker is run by the Communication Workers Union and provides information for the several-hundred union members employed by CPW, as well as anyone else who's interested. But it's recently been unavailable to employees at a couple of CPW sites, and now the company has told The Register that it feels access to the site is unnecessary for the happy employees at CPW.

Previously we've been told that there was inaccurate information on the site, and that the company would be talking to the union about rectifying that. But CPW failed to provide us, or the union, with any examples of such inaccuracy and in that instance simply removed the block without explanation. This time there is an official explanation, though not what we expected:

"We have taken the decision to restrict access to this website. We already have established ways of communicating and consulting with our employees including forums, meetings with employee representatives and regular engagement."

Companies often try to present union membership as unnecessary, though rarely in such stark language, but perhaps all the employees at CPW really are happy bunnies and in no way worried about the forthcoming division of the company. It is worth noting that Carphone Warehouse does not officially recognise the union, and that there aren't enough members to force it to do so, so the company is at liberty to block access to anything it wants, as the union accepts:

"We are pleased Carphone Warehouse has now decided that union information is not, in fact, inaccurate. However, we're disappointed that the company wants to stop employees accessing independent advice on their rights and contacting a union of their choice."

At the time of writing the site remains accessible to employees as carphoneworker.wordpress.com, though that's unlikely to last, and union-minded CPW employees will have to get their information at home, or trust that the company will tell them everything they need to know. ®

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