16 Jan 06

GMB 22/24 Worple Road LONDON SW19 4DD Tel: 020 8971 4209 Fax: 020 8944 6139 www.gmb.org.uk

Monday 16th January 2006
PRESS RELEASE
1 of 1 page
Immediate Release
Attention: News desks and Industrial correspondents

GMB WINS FIRST EVER UNFAIR DISMISSAL CASE FOR SEX WORKERS BRANCH
Employment tribunal finds that adult chat line worker in Grays Essex was unfairly dismissed

An employment tribunal has just found that GMB member Mrs Irene Everitt, who worked on live adult chat lines, was unfairly dismissed by her employer Datapro Services Limited. Mrs Everitt was dismissed in March 2005 having been accused of gross industrial misconduct. She worked for the company in Grays in Essex from 1997 to 2005.

The case was taken to the Employment Tribunal in Stratford, East London by GMB on behalf of union member Irene Everitt. The hearing took place in November 2005 and the judgement has just been received. A remedies hearing is due on the February 8th 2006.

Mrs Everitt was employed as an operator in the adult live chat industry and after a number of years was promoted to supervision and training of the other operators. She was able to do much of the work from home. The relationship with her employer deteriorated ‘due to the lack of respect for the operators’. The Tribunal heard that Mrs Everitt was dismissed after she refused to resume working full time in the office in Grays because she did not want to work in a culture of cannabis and cocaine consumption and in an atmosphere of a lack of respect for the operators.

Mrs Everitt was accused of trying to attract away from Datapro the chat line operatives to a rival organization Jo Jo Jones and was sacked by the director and owner Mr Trevor Osborne for this reason. The Tribunal found that the evidence for this accusation was entirely without substance. The Tribunal found that she had been unfairly dismissed.

Ed Blissett, GMB Regional Secretary said, “No matter what industry people work in they have a right to be treated fairly. GMB will ensure that this is so if they are members of GMB.

This is the first case that a trade union has won at an Employment Tribunal for a worker in this part of the economy.”

Ends

Contact GMB Press Office: Steve Pryle on 07921 289880 or Rose Conroy on 07974 251823. Peter Jones GMB Organiser 07974 251726.
Notes to Editors:
1    Sex workers first joined the GMB in March 2002 when the International Union of Sex Workers, which is a merged with GMB London Region. GMB has members who working all parts of the adult entertainment industry.
2    Mrs Everitt was represented at the ET by GMB Organiser Peter Jones.

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