Friday, May 12, 2006

CAC instructs Homebase at Swindon to recognise TGWU

Despite being instructed to recognise the TGWU Homebase is resisting implementing the instruction which is legally binding.

Homebase has been told by the Central Arbitration Committee (CAC), the legal body that rules on trade union recognition disputes, that it must recognise the T&G after the majority of its Swindon staff joined the Union, and 80 per cent of the workforce signed a petition in favour of union recognition.

The TGWU says that management has been using illegal tactics in Swindon to prevent its employees being represented by the TGWU after the company lost a legal bid to block recognition

“Homebase, a wholly owned subsidiary of Argos, has now broken the law by intimidating workers,” said T&G officer Hugh Kirkbride. “The company has now employed three union-busting consultants, who will not identify their organisation, to misinform fewer than 180 workers about their rights and their union.

“Assisted by local management, they are attempting to bully workers into signing letters prepared for them, opposing the legal decision of the CAC. Polish workers have been singled out for particular attention: this is shameful behaviour towards employees not always familiar with their rights in the UK, and we believe represents an attempt to create ethnic division among the workers.

“Workers are also being told by management that if the union succeeds in winning recognition, the company will close the Swindon depot with the loss of all 179 jobs. This threat is also a breach of the Trade Union and Labour Relations Act 1992.

“We have filed a formal complaint with the CAC, and we are demanding direct negotiations with Argos at group level to remove the illegal obstacles to recognition at the Swindon depot.”


At May 21, 2006 12:29 am, Anonymous Jimmy Kelly, Delegate, Dublin Trades Council. said...

Below is a statement from the Homebase website. It seem that they are OK with the idea of shoving 'ethical standards' on their suppliers ( but this does not cost them money)
and acting totally diferently with their direct employees ( this might cost them money)
Solidarity with the T&G membership.
Jimmy Kelly, Delegate , Dublin Trades Council.

15 October 2004
Homebase tackles ethical issues in horticulture
Homebase targeted its horticultural suppliers with a special seminar on October 5 focusing on ethics in the horticultural supply chain.

Over 100 delegates from approximately 60 suppliers attended the seminar to hear about the issues facing them, including gang master exploitation and illegal workers operating in the UK.

"Homebase is equally concerned about issues at home as well as in the far east and developing countries," explained Charles Drewe, corporate responsibility manager for Homebase. "We wanted to take a proactive approach and find practical solutions to help our growers steer clear of these areas and ensure that we maintain the integrity of our business."

Guest speakers included DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs), who covered the new gang master licensing bill; the Fresh Produce Consortium, who talked about the ETI (Ethical Trade Initiative) code of practice; Employment Task Force who discussed migration in the UK; and The Home Office Immigration Service, who covered ways to recognise forged documents.

Charles added: "We believe that this seminar helped to identify some best practice within our supply chain and provided suppliers with information which will enable them to tackle these issues going forward. Homebase is committed to ensuring that its suppliers are kept abreast of any legal requirements and that they meet the high standards prescribed to them so both our reputation and theirs are protected."


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