Marks and Spencer whistleblower sacked for gross misconduct

The Marks and Spencer (M&S) whistleblower who told the media about the retailer’s plans to slash redundancy pay has been sacked.

A statement on the GMB union website said the retailer summarily dismissed the employee for gross misconduct, because he put into the public domain last month details to cuts in redundancy terms that became effective on 1 September 2008.

Maria Ludkin, GMB legal officer who represented the GMB members at the disciplinary hearing, said: “The disappointing part of today’s decision is that M&S head of global HR, John Wareham, stated that the 25-year long service of this employee is totally irrelevant to the decision to sack him.

“M&S have shown they are more concerned about maintaining a repressive regime for their staff than about promoting open discussion about the direction of the company and the way the staff are treated. Make no mistake, this is a gross act of corporate bullying. GMB will be appealing against this decision in the internal procedures and will launch a public campaign to secure justice for this M&S worker inside and outside the company.”

The GMB confirmed the decision after a midday meeting at M&S’s London head office. M&S awarded the employee eight days worth of holiday pay, which is believed to total £700, according to the Times.

The same paper revealed two weeks ago that M&S planned to cut redundancy benefits for its workers by up to 25% and that the decision had outraged staff, who feared job cuts.

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