Documents show RMT’s Lynch requested talks when talks with US IBB union collapsed – and before that too, as well as in January as Skwawkbox revealed yesterday
Skwawkbox revealed yesterday that the TSSA – which has been rocked this week by sexual harassment and bullying scandals yet is in merger talks with another union with ‘endemic’ issues of the same sort – had ‘suppressed’ a merger approach from the RMT union, led by left-winger Mick Lynch.
And Skwawkbox can today reveal that at least two earlier approaches from Lynch were also kept back from many members of the TSSA’s elected executive.
Lynch wrote to then-TSSA general secretary Manuel Cortes in September 2021 to open talks, when TSSA was in discussions about becoming a ‘district’ of right-wing US union IBB:
Some TSSA figures have tried to defend the suppression of the RMT approach by asking why Lynch didn’t approach TSSA when the IBB talks collapsed last September. But Lynch did – and this time his letter was acknowledged by Cortes:
TSSA executive members have, however, admitted that they were ‘kept in the dark’ about the approaches.
Cortes reportedly remains on the union’s payroll, despite ‘retiring’ last year under a cloud after whistleblowers came forward with allegations of repeated sexual harassment by him and other senior figures in the union. Baroness Kennedy’s report on her investigation of the allegations this week slammed the union’s culture and the habitual cover-ups of harassment and bullying, and even the denigration of victims by the ‘locus of power’ in the union. Kennedy recommended the removal of a number of figures and some have already gone, with all other senior staff named in the report now suspended including the man lined up to be Cortes’s successor but still being paid.
Skwawkbox understands that HR manager Val Stansfield, another senior staff member named in the report, attempted to gate-crash a large meeting of GMB members working for TSSA and complained of unfair treatment when she was refused entry, but then packed up her belongings and left the building.
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