Analysis comment

Sexual harassment, bullying, misogyny, cronyism ‘endemic’ in ‘institutionally sexist’ right-dominated union, investigation finds

QC asked by GMB to investigate allegations returns damning verdict

The barrister asked by the GMB to investigate allegations of sexual assault and harassment has returned a damning report on the culture and conduct within the union, which has been widely considered to be aligned with the right of the Labour party.

Karon Monaghan QC’s report states flatly that the GMB is institutionally sexist, with the executive summary going on to say that:

Bullying, misogyny, cronyism and sexual harassment are endemic within the GMB.

The culture in the GMB is one of heavy drinking and late night socialising,
salacious gossip and a lack of professionalism…

The regional secretaries hold disproportionate power in the GMB. Many use that power to bully and manipulate members of the GMB’s lay bodies…

Sexual harassment is common in the GMB.

Monaghan says that when she “emailed a small number of people” to ask for information – but was overwhelmed by information from around 150, with hundreds of emails – with much of the evidence corroborated by ‘many sources’ – and she notes that a common concern raised was fear of retribution if the identities of informants became known.

She concluded that:

Those concerns were not fanciful… the culture of bullying and victimisation in the GMB is such that I am satisfied the concerns were well founded.

Monaghan also notes that democracy and merit played little role in the appointment of senior personnel – with senior regional roles only ever filled by men and others overwhelmingly male-dominated:

The evidence before me clearly demonstrates that frequently it is the outgoing regional secretary and his corps, in any particular region, that decide who is to be the incoming regional secretary.

And she says that race discrimination is a serious issue in the union’s culture:

I was also contacted by a number of people from Black and minority ethnic groups. They recognised that this investigation is concerned with sexual harassment but wanted to draw to my attention the very real and serious problems that exist for members and employees from Black and minority ethnic groups. Having read written communications and spoken to some who contacted me, I am satisfied that the GMB is not a comfortable place to be for many employees and members from Black and minority ethnic groups

Monaghan notes that some officials within the union are making an effort to improve things and concludes her report with a list of recommendations for action to address the glaring issues.

But for five years, the Labour right and the so-called ‘mainstream’ media perpetrated and amplified smears and lies that claimed the left was the source of abuse, racism and harassment – while a report commissioned by the GMB itself has revealed that it was ‘endemic’ within a union that has allied to the very Labour right firing smears at the left.

And reports of such conduct are by no means limited to the GMB, with numerous and serious allegations made against leading right-wing Labour figures that have never received media attention, on top of the already-public complaints of abusive behaviour and even racism against some of the left’s chief critics.

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19 comments

  1. It looks like the old guard are well past their sell-by-date, it’s time for a well overdue clear-out of the dead wood.

    1. “Get rid of the deadwood…The old guard are well last their sell by date!”

      Says the tory who brags about voting for the old guard tory who publically bragged about writing a private and confidential letter in support of tory policies…

      Any more pearls of wisdom, little steven?

      1. potatoclock – I would be very surprised if Jeremy Corbyn never had any private communications with May and Johnson.

      2. Show me evidence SteveH that JC ever collaborated with them, Sent your doing wonderful job letters and that he supports them! Because these letters don’t exist or Torys whould have used them to show how wonderful job there really doing look the leader of the opersission agreese. I must have missed that news cycle..?

        While you’re looking for them maybe you can look to see when he ever sacked a member of the shadow cabinet lied about why again and again because he wanted to support Tory policy of sending kids back to school while talking nothing but BS about it’s safe!

        Because your great leader is nothing but a cheerleader for the Torys, For some reason I can’t see JC out with his pompoms for Bozo…

  2. It’s only bad news for the right if the media reports it that way – more likely than not it’ll just be “the Union” that gets the bad publicity and other unions will be tarred with the same brush – and the public doesn’t think of unions as having any right wingers in them anyway.
    There’ll be lots of promises of lessons learned and changes to come, but nothing will change.

  3. No different to local Labour party machines in the west midlands, Wales, the north and I imagine the rest of the country, along with many other unions who’ve long been self-serving wage negotiators.

  4. It happens in the LP too, mainly bullying of disabled people. Again, in Wavertree, a well known disabled member complained about bullying. The result was that he was summoned for an investigation, without even being informed what he was being charged with. Even during his investigation, they still wouldn’t tell him what they were charging him with.
    The police were involved and the Councillor forced to give an apology for the Hate Incident. The Councillor was then made ‘Councillor of the year’ in Liverpool. Pity Sqwarkbox won’t cover any of this, or the suspensions of good people in Wavertree on ridiculous charges. ‘First they came for the communists……..’ We know where it ends up if injustice isn’t challenged; when people just look the other way. C’mon Sqwarky!!
    The harassment has continued relentlessly on social media by the same rt wing cranks who also have ‘fb friends’ in high places. The same rt wing (Councillor) provided info to the media on the contact details, addresses of those they campaign against, which are then published in the local rag.
    If there was a fascist Party, up n running, then these fuckers would be in that organisation. We all know what they are. They despise democracy, hate accountability and have more in common with the employers and the State than anything the Labour movement stands for.
    It also happens in Unite. A female complained about being sent ‘dick pics’ by an official, and she was disciplined. The perpetrator wasn’t. Best start organising outside of the LP cmds, but don’t resign the LP just yet.
    It’s nothing new. Read up on Germany in the 20’s. The parallels are amazing. We know that LP HQ was a nest of racists and Tories, and probably still is. We know that Sir Stormer covered their backs.
    Take a look at ‘thegrayzone.com’. You’ll see that Sir Stormer is part and parcel of national security and the establishment. Five unanswered questions by him say it all. Maybe an article on here Sqwarky on the questions put to Sir Stormer on ‘thegrayzone’?

  5. OT, sorry.
    Just watched Hancock on BBC ‘defend’ his refusal to give the interviewer a date for when mass testing will be ready … (paraphrased)

    “I won’t give you a date because if I do you’ll criticise me when I don’t meet it”

    Duh.

  6. Off-topic, but yesterday at PMQ’s, stammer demanded de piffle recant on his claim that stammer was an IRA sympathiser (de piffle said stammer had supported Corbyn [when?] who was the supposed IRA sympathiser) boasting proudly that he’d prosecuted several terrorists during his time at DPP.

    Said nothing about Corbyn going on record as condemning terrorism and terrorists from ALL sides, but that’s the measure of the self-centred, careerist shithouse stammer is.

    but I suppose it’s not just me who’s noticed stammer’s not quite as keen to beat his chest over his DPP record of REFUSING to prosecute toerags – both of whom had overwhelming evidence against them, and both of whom went on to hold prominent cabinet positions (One still does).

    Now, WHY doesn’t he beat his chest about NOT prosecuting tories? I think Skwawky should ring his office up to ask for an explanation.

    …As if one was required – because anyone can say with certainty that although stammer’s not a TERRORIST sympathiser, he’s MOST DEFINITELY a TORY one

    Grassed himself up with his own hubris, the bellend.

  7. When you live in the Labour heartlands then its not surprising that every peace of shite is middle aged male, pale and Labour
    Question is how do we get rid
    Of the Pantomime Dame

  8. and the accusations by Ava Etemadzadeh (the one that dressed up like a schoolgirl for her TV interveiw)

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