News

Court rejects TSSA injunction request over sexual harassment allegations

Union must pay costs of failed application

A court has rejected an application by the TSSA union for an injunction against and news outlet Reel News to prevent them propagating or repeating former TSSA employee Claire Laycock’s allegations of sexual harassment against the union’s general secretary Manuel Cortes and another employee and her complaints that the union tried to keep the allegations quiet. The union and Cortes have both denied the allegations, although Cortes apologised for his behaviour and said shortly after the events that he could not remember them. TSSA has claimed that Laycock’s allegations against it are a breach of a confidentiality agreement she signed as part of a severance package and wanted the news outlet to remove the video.

The court awarded costs against the union. Skwawkbox approached TSSA but the union declined to comment. Reel News has thanked the National Union of Journalists for providing their legal representation.

Bizarrely, while the video remains online without restriction Claire Laycock herself is still unable to speak out further despite the result, at least until an interim injunction granted to the union against her expires on 25 May.

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13 comments

  1. CONGRATULATIONS
    🎊📣🎉🎊📣🎉🎊📣🎉
Claire Laycock and news outlet Reel News, for taking a stand and FIGHTING for truth
    Once again, PROOF that FAILING to take action when we must, = we are NOTHING but enablers of the status quo. The status quo could never have as easy a ride as they enjoy, if we pursued them🟥🟥🟥

    1. “Confidentiality clauses” = GAGGING = A PERVERSION OF JUSTICE.

      Only those who hate truths being exposed, GAG whistle blowers and victims.

      GAGGING CLAUSES should be BANNED‼️‼️‼️

      A must for the next manifesto of TRUE Labour, when we seize another opportunity.
      🔘🌱☑️🔘🌱☑️🔘🌱☑️

      1. ALSO – 🌟🎊🌟🎊🌟🎊
        WELL DONE too to DAVID BAKER, Liam Byrne’s assistant. Byrne was found GUILTY of BULLYING David and will be suspended for two days from Palace of Parasites, lose his salary and not be able to enjoy SUBSIDISED BOOZE and fine food in any of the at least EIGHT drinking holes and restaurants FUNDED by US‼️‼️‼️

        David, instead of keeping his head down and whining to those who already know and him, WAIVED ANONYMITY and took ACTION. David alerted the Independent Complaints and Grievance Scheme (ICGS), and GOT some JUSTICE. Proof again that ACTION is useful. Whining and victimhood achieves ZERO.

        David, a Labour party member, runs Baby Aid Birmingham FOOD BANK. Byrne used David with SHORT-TERM contracts. Consecutive short-term contracts. No surprise then that Liam Byrne was the one who thought it funny to leave a note for his incoming Blue Tory chums – “THERE’s NO MONEY LEFT”. That was when Gordon Brown, enabler of Mandelson and War Criminal Blair LOST the election. No surprise. Blair left a husk. Scotland decimated and Labour sunk in the STENCH of Blair’s IRAQ. Mandelson’s tool Starmer showers the deadly creature with love.
        🥀🩸💥🥀🩸💥🥀🩸💥

  2. ITs looking like the unions are getting in to bad habbits using job creation for Lawyers and following the labour party.We desperately need unions and always will.They must learn from the disappeared membership of the labour party that the dedicated members and activists who are the backbone will only take so much before walking away…..

  3. I am so disappointed in TSSA . I wonder how they will ever be able to represent a member harassed ( sexually or otherwise ) in the workplace. They will be rightly accused of hypocrisy and cover up by management.
    They know that as well as I do and it wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest if Manuel Cortes resigns or retires or is made to resign or retire in the near future. That is the only way TSSA can move forward

  4. Smartboy,

    I was sent a link to this video on Monday and asked to share it, to allow as many people (women) as possible to see it, in case the injunction was upheld and the video removed. I wondered at the time if there was something more to this, it seems my suspicion I was right.

    Former Assistant General Secretary of the TSSA, John Page has shared the video on his facebook page, with a public statement saying that five years ago he’d raised concerns with the TSSA executive, about a number of similar allegations from women, but no action was taken. The NUJ have also seen evidence that at the same time Frances O’Grady, the General Secretary of the TUC, was also contacted about these concerns. No action was taken.

    And it looks like this goes wider than the TSSA with similar allegations now coming from women in other trades unions.

    https://reelnews.co.uk/2022/05/12/all-reelnews-campaigns/justice-campaigns/metu-huge-victory-in-the-high-court-reel-news-statement/

    1. Reply to Nemtona
      It gives me no pleasure whatsoever to say that I think you are probably right. I posted on an earlier thread that the Trade Union movement is, with a few notable exceptions, male dominated and the lack of gender equality enables sexual harassers.
      Perhaps this case and the outrage it has caused may be a turning point and the Neanderthals in the movement will learn how to behave and cease to degrade themselves and disgust others. It will also hopefully make Unions think twice about covering up harassment which is unacceptable in any workplace.
      The vast majority of lay activists and fulltime officials are decent people who find the type of behaviour complained of totally repulsive and the cover up that followed completely unacceptable. For these reasons I think Cortes position as General Sec is now untenable. Saying this gives me no pleasure either for until now I always held him in high regard.

  5. Well its looking like not many are interested in this article so in more news from RT its reported that “Rand paul” republican senator for Georgia has slowed down the sixty billion of so called aid “to the Ukraine by insisting that the USA are already the worlds largest” debtor “with owings to Banks etc of thirty trillions and a proper debate is needed.before exporting arms that may never be paid for.Now it goes to show that common sense can come from the most unlikely source.And the digital identity age” is about to start without debate .The American people like the British people are now beggining to suffer from the unelected constituency of the new world order.Batten down the hatches comrades .!

    1. Yes. He gave Anthony Blinken a real going over regarding Ukraine in a Congressional Committee a few days ago.

      1. Meanwhile, the dollar is now trading 15% lower against the rouble than in mid-February.

      2. ………. and in the UK, there is at least one person who is talking sense ………. and it appears to meet with a significant level of approval.

      3. The plates are shifting – The president of Antigua and Barbuda has refused to attend the “Summit of the Americas” if Cuba, Venezuela or Nicaragua are excluded.

  6. Bringing it back to the role of unions, it looks like the GMB have reverted to type and are about to sell out Deliveroo drivers, who are fighting for decent pay and conditions.

    “Now as we appeal our collective bargaining case to the Supreme Court, Deliveroo has cynically made this backroom deal with the GMB, which has no record of organising couriers and presents no threat to their exploitative business practices, to protect itself in the event that it loses at the final stage. Deliveroo is undermining the efforts of couriers to pursue their rights through the courts, to organise for a voice at work, and to improve their working lives”.

    “The company is seeking to undermine the UK legal system in preventing a successful statutory recognition agreement with the IWGB by securing a voluntary agreement with another union. This partnership benefits nobody except Deliveroo and the GMB leadership, and we call on the Government to review the Union Recognition legislation as it has been routinely undermined by union-busting companies who partner with yellow-bellied unions. If the Government believes in democratic workplaces and true representation of workers, then voluntary agreements such as this should be contestable”.

    The Labour 1997 manifesto pledged legislation for TU reform, but they fell far short of what was needed and only benefited business. I don’t expect a Starmer Labour party would be any better.

    https://iwgb.org.uk/en/post/deliveroo-gmb/

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