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Claire Laycock, a former TSSA organiser, detailed her allegations of sexual assault and harassment by the TSSA general secretary, Manuel Cortes, allegations of further sexual harassment, collusion and bullying by other senior TSSA officers, and an allegation of a serious sexual assault when she worked for the GMB previously.

TSSA union denied everything in an appalling response, which you can read at the end of the video (from 16 min 17sec), immediately sought an injunction against Claire for breaking her Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) and to silence her against Reel News to get the video taken down, and threatened defamation proceedings against both.

However, women started getting in contact with allegations of further sexual assaults by Manuel Cortes alongside NDAs preventing them from speaking, and there was testimony by former Assistant General Secretary John Page; allegations of misogyny and sexism from TSSA senior officials witnessed or experienced by people outside the TSSA, allegations of sexual harassment and sexual assaults in other unions, and even more disturbingly, allegations of rape.





We welcome Helena Kennedy KC’s honest and robust report into sexism, bullying and sexual harassment in the TSSA union. The damage done to survivors is irreparable; many lives have been changed, and years have been stolen.

The report is damning. What we went through is accurate, and today, we are validated. We commend the bravery of those who pushed for an independent inquiry and thank those for coming forward.

We also thank Helena for how she conducted her interviews delicately, which was a robustly refreshing difference from our experience of having to share testimony as part of TSSA’s internal processes.

For years, many women were left dealing with incredible harm and had lies told about them when they dared to speak out. May all those involved take time to reflect deeply on the damage they have caused over several years.

The detailed report leaves specific recommendations that must be acted upon. Questions, of course, remain, and this is not over. As we write, perpetrators and their enablers are still in position despite Helena Kennedy KC’s recommendation that they resign.

MeTu calls for the immediate resignation of the Senior Management and Executive Committee in TSSA and senior officials in the organisation who have been named in the report as perpetrators and complicit in harm done. If resignations are not forthcoming, we demand that they be removed.

Sexism, Bullying and Sexual harassment are a fact of the Trade Union Movement. Now, the question must be asked: how serious is the movement about getting its house in order?

How will that be achieved, and how will survivors and sisters in the movement create the needed transformation?

Watch our response from TSSA survivors.

Read one woman’s account of sexual harassment within the Trade Union movement.