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Tuesday, 6 November, 2001, 18:10 GMT
Damages for bullied union secretary
Former Unison Secretary Joy Pugh
Joy Pugh said her professional and personal life had been ruined
A secretary who was bullied and harassed by her employer - the Welsh head of a union which looks after people working in public service - has been awarded damages of almost 90,000 at a court in Swansea.

Joy Pugh, 48, suffered panic attacks, depression, sleepless nights and loss of libido after six years working for Unison's Welsh regional secretary Derek Gregory.

Unison's Welsh Regional Secretary Derek Gregory
Derek Gregory: Exonerated by internal inquiry

Mrs Pugh told Swansea County Court that her professional and private life had been ruined by her job with Mr Gregory.

Mr Gregory's assistant Beverley Cole was also accused of bullying the secretary.

Mrs Pugh said that her self- confidence had been destroyed and she had decided to change careers to become a self- employed aromatherapist.

She claimed that Mr Gregory was persistently rude and shouted at her.

He also threw files around the office, exaggerated faults in her work, slammed his hands down on her desk, and "tried to engineer mistakes."

Mrs Pugh said her working life and family life had been completely ruined and her whole future was in shreds because of it.

Unison offices in Swansea
Mrs Pugh worked at the Unison offices

The union, which handles stress claims by its own members against employers, admitted a breach of duty to Mrs Pugh.

Judge Graham Jones said two doctors had found Mrs Pugh had suffered from depression and anxiety as a result of stress at work.

He awarded Mrs Pugh 89,696 in damages for negligence and breach of contract.

Unison said both Mr Gregory and Ms Cole have been exonerated after an internal investigation.

An industrial tribunal, which had been delayed until after the county court case, can now go ahead.

A spokesman for Unison said until they see the full details of the ruling they would be unable to make a full statement.

Mr Gregory was understood to be on holiday in South Africa.

See also:

13 Sep 99 | The Economy
Unions call for anti-bullying law
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