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North East Equal Pay Litigation

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The employment tribunal's decision in Allan v GMB was handed down earlier this week.

In a claim brought by five test Claimants against the GMB, the GMB has been held liable for sex discrimination and victimisation in failing to pursue Middlesborough Borough Council in connection with a long-running equal pay dispute.

The decision (139 pages) is deeply critical of the GMB, including findings that it misled and manipulated its "relatively unsophisticaed" members (paras 7.59 and 7.66), "rushed headlong into accepting an ill-considered pay deal" (para 7.60) and "neglected the interests of the back pay Claimants" (para 7.61).

The tribunal also found that the GMB victimised those of its members who had chosen to be presented by an external solicitor, by impeding the settlement of their claims with the Council, on the grounds that it regarded them as "pariahs" (para. 7.73).

The remedies element of the claim has been adjourned, and the GMB has indicated an intention to appeal. According to an item on the BBC news website, the potential cost to the the GMB is expected to exceed £1,000,000.

View judgment here (7Mb pdf file - please try again later if download does not work due to overburdened website!)