A SACKED right-wing union official has had his application to be temporarily reinstated turned down by an employment tribunal. Gerard Coyne, who challenged Len McCluskey for the leadership of Unite in June, was dismissed as the union’s West Midlands secretary on charges of gross misconduct.
Mr Coyne was accused of damaging Unite’s relationship with Labour by using party data at a phone bank for his leadership campaign which he denies. As well as making a court complaint about the conduct of the election, Mr Coyne is taking his case to the tribunal alleging that he was “unfairly dismissed for taking part in union activities.”
But after a preliminary hearing in July, the tribunal has rejected his claim for “interim relief” — which would mean he would be reinstated pending the outcome of the tribunal.
In a judgement handed down yesterday, employment judge Geraldine Flood said that “nothing suggests” that Unite’s then-acting general secretary Gail Cartmail, who presided over the dismissal, “did not genuinely believe that gross misconduct had taken place and dismissed the claimant because of that belief.”
The judge was not satisfied Mr Coyne had a “pretty good chance” of proving he was dismissed “for a reason other than misconduct, let alone that the dismissal was for carrying out trade union activities.”
A Unite spokesman said the union was “satisfied” with the judgement, adding: “Unite will continue to present its case that Mr Coyne was dismissed for gross misconduct and nothing else.”