The founder and former owner of Barrhead Travel is suing the holiday firm for unfair dismissal.

Bill Munro was sacked by the business in November last year - just nine months after selling up to US travel giants Travel Leaders Group.

The 75-year-old, who initially stayed on as chairman after the buyout, is pursuing an employment tribunal against his former firm amid claims his dismissal process was a "sham".

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He is suing the company for unfair dismissal and unpaid wages, with a hearing on the case expected to take place later this month.

Mr Munro told The Herald that his issue is with Travel Leaders and not the staff at Barrhead Travel.

He said: "This is not against Barrhead Travel. Many of the people who work there are still friends and I have absolutely nothing against anybody at Barrhead Travel.

"What I do have is something against Travel Leaders, the people who bought the company. 

"They told me I would have a job and I had a contract of employment and then they made life extremely difficult for me."

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A judgment on a preliminary issue in the case reveals that Barrhead Travel admits dismissing Mr Munro, but denies that the sacking was unfair.

The firm claims that the "reason for dismissal was redundancy or some other substantial reason".

The document states: "[Barrhead Travel] sought to rely on some other substantial reason as the reason for dismissal.

"[The firm] had clarified, following the request for information, that the reason was a reorganisation of the workforce and/or its terms and conditions, and that the claimant refused to agree to those changes."

Mr Munro's solicitor, Stephen Miller, told the tribunal that the information from the travel agents "supported an argument that there was a growing frustration on the part of [the firm] regarding the claimant and the performance of his duties."

For Barrhead Travel, advocate Alice Stobart told the tribunal that Mr Munro had claimed the dismissal process followed by the firm was a sham, but this was denied.

The judgment stated: "The claimant appeared to say that because there were no documents regarding the discussions held in respect of the claimant's role, then the review must have been a sham.

"Ms Stobart submitted there was no authority for the proposition that the respondent required to have a paper trail.

"The [firm] will seek to prove that the senior executives had discussions over the phone/in person to review the need for the role of chairman."

Employment judge Lucy Wiseman added there was clearly "a serious dispute on the crucial facts of the case" and continued the proceedings to a full hearing.

Mr Munro started Barrhead Travel in 1975, with just one shop and four members of staff. 

It grew to become one of the UK's largest independent travel agencies, with more than 70 stores employing around 1000 workers.

However, the businessman and his daughter Sharon Munro, who was chief executive of the firm, sold up to Travel Leaders for an undisclosed sum in February last year.

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Just a few months later, Travel Leaders announced Mr Munro's departure from the firm.

At that time, Ninan Chacko, chief executive of the American firm, said: "Barrhead founder, Bill Munro, who had been serving in a non-operating strategic advisory role prior to the acquisition by Travel Leaders Group, has left his role as chairman of Barrhead Travel.

"We are grateful to Bill for all he has done over the years to build the Barrhead brand and a quality management team."

The following month, Ms Munro also left her role as president the firm, claiming she made the "very difficult decisions" for "purely personal reasons".

Travel Leaders is the largest travel agency business in the US with more than 7,000 owned, franchised or affiliated travel agencies.

Barrhead Travel refused to comment on the dispute.