The chief of one of the UK’s foremost trade unions is under review due to covertly recorded dialogues that disclose how he handled a senior female employee who lodged a complaint about sexual harassment.

GMB’s general secretary, Gary Smith, can be heard forewarning the 36-year-old complainant, who stated she was forced to rescind an employment tribunal claim and conform to a non-disclosure agreement, that their legal counsel is superior and costlier.

In a two-hour meeting at a hotel, Smith informs the woman who had submitted an official complaint against a colleague that he will not allow his union to be wrecked.

Smith, who had previously worked closely with the woman at GMB’s office in Scotland, can be heard in the secretive recording expressing remarks that are now undergoing a detailed inquiry by a high-ranking lawyer.

The woman had been employed with the trade union for a decade and lodged a complaint against another GMB worker in May 2022. She presented an employment tribunal claim after the organization trivialized the issue as merely personal and refused to carry out an investigation.

She alleges that she was intimidated with dismissal if she didn’t abandon the tribunal and abide by a confidentiality agreement, which she eventually did in December 2022.

She resolved to secretly record Smith in a return-to-work meeting owing to her increasing concerns about their handling of the case and the legal notices she was receiving.

In the clandestine recording, Smith confesses that the man she had complained about was indeed a miscreant who had taken advantage of her. Her narrative is substantiated by Smith’s admissions during the covertly-taped return-to-work assembly in the Wesley Hotel in London, a region in proximity to the GMB’s main offices.

The woman was dismissed from GMB the prior month following allegations that she had intimidated her coworkers and sexually harassed a 52-year-old man, characterized by the union as a junior employee. She refutes the accusations and argues the procedure was unfair. She decided to speak now as she believes the union needs to modify its course with respect to handling sexual harassment.

The woman refutes any notion of being an aggrieved employee seeking vindication against her previous employer. She claims she merely intends to lay bare illicit conduct and aid GMB employees and members.

The GMB was asked whether Smith believed his comments were fitting but a representative stated they had been twisted out of context. They confirmed that a professional counsel has been engaged to investigate the events that led up to the employee’s dismissal to certify the union acted properly and fairly throughout what has been a challenging and intricate process.

The spokesman stated that the meeting was held at a venue habitually used by the union, intended to allow the employee to smoothly reintegrate into the workplace following a protracted, complicated internal investigation into her relational and professional behavior.

She had been offered exceptional levels of support after the inquiry to aid her in identifying and addressing potentially damaging patterns in her behaviour and these discussions were meant to facilitate her comeback.

Unfortunately, in spite of the expert guidance and professional aid provided by the union, the employee overlooked the warning signs in her patterns of behaviour and allegedly proceeded to sexually harass a junior colleague.

She was eventually dismissed following a thorough, fair, and transparent disciplinary procedure. This verdict by a three-member, all-female disciplinary panel, was later corroborated on appeal by an external, independent professional counsel.