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Daily Mail

Union baron bringing community to its knees faces intercourse harassment probe


A Union baron who helped grind Britain’s railways to a halt is dealing with an impartial inquiry over sexual harassment and bullying claims. 

Manuel Cortes, 55, head of the Transport Salaried Staffs’ Affiliation (TSSA), was a number one determine in organising rail strikes this summer time throughout months of disruption. 

He faces accusations of undesirable touching and demanding ladies he labored with kissed him.

Following recommendation from the TUC over the allegations, Helena Kennedy KC interviewed previous and current union officers about Mr Cortes. 

The harassment claims first emerged in spring when a colleague, Claire Laycock, accused Mr Cortes of constructing undesirable advances in the direction of her in a pub after a Christmas get together in 2018.

Not less than six others have additionally made claims of sexual harassment or bullying. 

Manuel Cortes has denied all allegations and apologised to anybody who might have been harmed by his behaviour

Mr Cortes has been the general secretary of the Transport Salaried Staffs Association (TSSA) since 201

Mr Cortes has been the overall secretary of the Transport Salaried Staffs Affiliation (TSSA) since 201

Claire Laycock shared a video of herself on social media accusing the trade union boss of asking to kiss her and go outside with him at a pub in 2018

Claire Laycock shared a video of herself on social media accusing the commerce union boss of asking to kiss her and go outdoors with him at a pub in 2018

Mr Cortes has denied all of the allegations and apologised to anybody who might have been harmed by his behaviour.

Ms Laycock shared a video of herself on social media making a collection of damaging allegations towards the commerce union boss.

She claimed he requested to kiss her earlier than demanding the 2 go outdoors collectively.

The TSSA, which Mr Cortes has led since 2011, used a non-disclosure settlement to cease Ms Laycock from talking in regards to the allegations. 

The union additionally made its personal inquiry into the harassment claims, rejecting all of them. 

The Guardian reported that one other lady, Maggie Hayes, heard and noticed Mr Cortes appearing inappropriately on the pub in 2018. 

She claimed Mr Cortes requested ‘Can I kiss you?’ to which Ms Laycock replied ‘No, do not, you might be my boss!’

Ms Hayes, a former TSSA organiser, is bringing claims of intercourse discrimination, harassment and victimisation towards the union to an employment tribunal.

Hannah Plant, a fellow former union organiser, informed the TSSA in 2020 that different ladies had warned her about Mr Cortes’s behaviour.

An independent inquiry into sexual harassment and bullying claims is being led by Helena Kennedy KC

An impartial inquiry into sexual harassment and bullying claims is being led by Helena Kennedy KC 

Ms Plant despatched a letter to union officers in a grievance process. She mentioned: ‘I used to be warned by a colleague to maintain my distance. 

‘This echoed warnings I might had from outdoors of the organisation in regards to the common secretary’s behaviour at social occasions, and from quite a few colleagues after I first joined who informed me to not be alone with him.’

The TSSA introduced the impartial inquiry into sexual harassment was being launched yesterday, with a report anticipated to be printed earlier than Christmas.

The union mentioned: ‘An impartial inquiry into allegations of sexual harassment, discrimination and bullying inside TSSA, regarding TSSA officers and others employed by the union launched publicly right this moment (Tuesday 21 September).

‘The inquiry is completely impartial of TSSA. It’s being led by Helena Kennedy KC, a human rights barrister and Labour Peer.

‘TSSA is a full and prepared participant within the inquiry.’

The rail union was on the forefront of strikes which induced journey disruption for thousands and thousands over the summer time as employees demanded increased pay amid the price of dwelling disaster and rampant inflation.

Together with Mick Lynch’s RMT, the union held huge walkouts in July and August this 12 months as its members, which embody station employees, upkeep and administration, took half in industrial motion. 

The TSSA is ready to poll lots of of members on much more strikes subsequent week over a dispute at Govia Thameslink Railway, the UK’s largest rail operator.

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