EVIDENCE from the STUC general secretary has been repeatedly branded "not credible" by an employment tribunal as the trade union body was found guilty of victimising and unfairly dismissing one of its former workers after he raised an unsuccessful claim for racial discrimination.

Employment Judge Clair McManus dismissed a series of statements made by Grahame Smith during a case brought by former equality development officer Zaffir Hakim.

Mr Hakim, an employee of the STUC for 11 years who is of Pakistani descent, launched the tribunal after being made redundant last year, arguing that he had been singled out for raising his claim when he failed to be promoted in 2014.

The tribunal heard that Mr Hakim, who worked within the STUC’s anti-racism project One Workplace Equal Rights (OWER), lost his job when funding for the project came to an end.

Employment judges criticised the STUC for failing to follow correct redundancy procedures by not considering him for other vacancies, failing to hold proper meetings or keep notes.

The tribunal heard that tensions erupted among the OWER team in light of Mr Hakim’s claim for racial discrimination, and there were fears it could potentially have jeopardised bids for funding for other anti-racism projects.

It found that the discrimination claim, which Mr Hakim later dropped, was behind the decision to make him redundant when other options could have been explored.

The tribunal agreed he had been unfairly dismissed and was the subject of victimisation, but cleared the STUC of a second racial discrimination charge.

Mr Hakim said: “On the whole, I am pleased with the outcome. This case has had a devastating impact on my health, wellbeing and employment prospects. I have become a shadow of my formal self, because of these detriments.

“The lack of support for members by trade unions in STUC equality structures is alarming. Their actions amounted to supporting the employers discrimination.

“Unions should practice what they preach and not wash their hands of anyone, or close ranks on an employee with 11 years service for having done a protected act on race discrimination.”

He added: “Trade unions cannot move forward on equality issues and protecting workers if they are unable or unwilling to challenge their own practices, and supporting individuals who have carried out a protected act.

“I hope they take responsibility for their actions.”

Following the verdict, the Coalition for Racial Equality and Rights said it was withdrawing its speaker from the STUC’s St. Andrew’s Day March and Rally Against Racism, which it has sponsored for more than a decade.

Its chairwoman Sandra Deslandes-Clark said: “We hope that this judgement will convince the STUC of the need to take specific, appropriate action to address the procedural, policy and personal issues underlying their treatment of Mr. Hakim, but until such time as we see evidence of action, we are unable to continue our support for the STUC.

“Regarding our commitment to provide a speaker and attend the St. Andrew’s Day March and Rally as a supporting organisation, we now feel that this would be inappropriate.

“It is our responsibility as an anti-racist organisation to take a stand against victimisation, even where our own interests are at stake.”

A Spokesman for the STUC said: “On the major part of the case, we are delighted that the Tribunal accepted our evidence in full by throwing out the completely fallacious accusation of race discrimination.

“The Tribunal also accepted that the STUC faced a genuine redundancy situation due to the ending of Government funding for our One Workplace project.

“We are very disappointed that it did not accept, on an aspect of process, that the dismissal was fair. We also fail to understand how we could be said to have unintentionally or unconsciously victimised the claimant and we intend to appeal.”