Polish Worker Wins Unfair Dismissal Case For Trade Union Membership

11 Nov 2013

Polish Worker Wins Unfair Dismissal Case For Trade Union Membership

A Leeds employment tribunal today heard how a polish man was dismissed by his employer for simply being a member of a trade union. 

The dispute started when management at Whitecase Ltd in Leeds issued notice to employees that the method of paying wages was to change which would result in workers having to work a week in hand without pay.

GMB member Boguslaw Szulgan contacted his union and was advised to submit a grievance so that he could be represented at a hearing by a union official.  But directors of the company met with Mr Szulgan without his union present and subjected him to bullying and intimidation because of his union membership. 

Commenting, Mr Szulgan said: “My English is quite limited but I could make out the repeated swearing.  I was aware that two other employees who had submitted grievances had been sacked the day before.  Throughout the meeting I maintained my right to be in the union and call on its services.”

Mr Szulgan was dismissed without notice and was owed wages and holiday pay.  He appealed the decision but the company failed to arrange a hearing date.

Mr Szulgan won his case and was awarded £8988.20.

Speaking at the Leeds Employment Tribunal today, GMB’s legal officer, Bill Innes, said: “Our member’s claim was made before the Coalition government introduced tribunal fees.  It would now cost an employee in our member’s position £1200 to pursue this case.  GMB is committed to our members getting support whenever they need to get justice against bad employers.”