Droitwich manager claims unfair dismissal over claims of leaking information to competitor

First published in News by

A DROITWICH manager complained he was unfairly dismissed after denying he revealed confidential information about a £3 million contract to a potential coach and bus competitor.

Mr Andrew Collins of Honeymans Gardens, Droitwich, had been employed as contracts and performance manager by Cabline UK Ltd which helps provide replacement transportation to railways.

He made legal claims for unfair dismissal, the unlawful deduction of wages and holiday pay against his former employers at Birmingham Employment Tribunal.

He denied an accusation by the respondents that he revealed confidential information to the Green Bus company about negotiations to extend a contract involving a London Midland rail franchise.

The Green Bus coach and bus company is based in the West Midlands.

Cabline agreed Mr Collins was owed £525 in unpaid wages (the unlawful deduction claim) but opposed the unfair dismissal claim. The respondents told the tribunal that the firm had originally successfully tendered for the London Midland replacement transportation contract in 2012 which had been worth £1 million at the time.

Mr Mark McFaul, the firm’s operations director, told the tribunal that there had since been on going negotiations to extend the contract to March 2015 and that the contract was now worth £3 million.

Mr McFaul said in his statement : “The contract is our firm’s bread and butter. But negotiations about extending the contract were confidential, not in the public domain and only three directors new about it.”

Mr McFaul alleged Mr Collins had revealed details about the negotiations to Green Bus, described as a potential competitor, during a lunch meeting.

The firm alleged there had been a breach of trust by Mr Collins who had been suspended prior to his dismissal.

Mr Collins who was represented at the tribunal by his father John, also of Droitwich, denied the accusation.

Mr Andrew Collins described Cabline as “brokers” whose function was to find coach and bus companies willing to provide replacement transport to the railways on behalf of Cabline.

He said he had previously worked for National Express and had been “head hunted” by Cabline where he said he had helped created a lot of business for his employers.

Mr Collins said he did not know about the negotiations to extend the contract and claimed previous details about the contract had previously been made public anyway.

He accused the firm of dismissing him unfairly after acting only on hearsay and without proof.

After a tribunal hearing lasting nearly a week, tribunal judge Mr David Dimbylow said he would make a decision at a later date.

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