Former Union Boss Manuel Cortes To Appeal Against Dismissal After Bullying Probe

The TSSA union was engulfed by accusations of sexual harassment and bullying.
Manuel Cortes
Manuel Cortes
Guy Smallman via Getty Images

Manuel Cortes is due to appeal his dismissal from the TSSA transport union this weekend, HuffPost UK can reveal.

The former general secretary of the Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association is expected to make his case at the union’s annual conference on Sunday.

Cortes stepped down in October last year amid allegations of sexual harassment and bullying. He denied any wrongdoing and apologised for any hurt caused by his behaviour.

A lawyer-led inquiry into the TSSA union was launched following the allegations and found harassment and bullying within its ranks.

Months after he stepped down, it emerged Cortes was still in the employment of the union and he was subsequently dismissed by reason of “gross misconduct”.

He is set to appeal this ruling via video call this Sunday when the TSSA’s conference takes place in Cork, Ireland.

HuffPost UK understands that it has been made clear to him he is not allowed to attend the conference in person.

During a closed session, not available to public or press, he will be allowed to make his case before a vote by conference delegates.

Union sources stressed that the appeal would not take more than half an hour and would not be allowed to dominate business.

Baroness Kennedy, who led the investigation into the union, will also speak separately about her report before the appeal takes place.

Her report concluded there had been “sexual harassment, discrimination and bullying” within the TSSA and that the “leadership and culture has enabled these behaviours through wilful blindness, power-hoarding and poor practices”.

The union committed itself to take “comprehensive” action to address the reports findings and implement all of Kennedy’s recommendations.

“The union wishes to apologise unreservedly to all of those who have been bullied, harassed or affected, and is committed to understanding what has happened to them, and to take all appropriate steps in response,” they said in February.

Multiple attempts have been made to contact Cortes for comment. The TSSA union was also approached for comment.

A programme for this weekend’s conference lists Cortes’ appeal on Sunday afternoon, saying: “Appeal by Manuel Cortes against EC [executive committee] decision to dismiss Mr Cortes.”


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