comment Exclusive

Exclusive: Cortes to step down when TSSA union merges

Union general secretary subject of sexual harassment allegations

Image: R Wendland, creative commons

TSSA general secretary Manuel Cortes will step down from the union’s top position when its merger with the US Boilermakers’ union goes through. A notice sent to staff, now circulating in a number of WhatsApp groups, informs them that Cortes has told union officials and the Certification Officer that he will not be standing for the new position of National Secretary that will be created when the merger completes and the general secretary position is abolished.

Cortes has been at the centre of allegations of sexual harassment, which he has denied. The union, which admitted Cortes had apologised to a female former employee, was criticised for attempting to use an injunction to silence her after she went public with her allegations. The attempt failed and other women subsequently came forward with further allegations of abuse at the union.

The TSSA’s executive has decided to appoint an acting National Secretary until a full election takes place in 2023.

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