Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

The Atmosphere Was Vile, Claims Car Sales Woman 'Forced' to Quit ; Dealership Bosses Taken to tribunalOffensive Remarks Made Daily, Panel Tolds

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

The Atmosphere Was Vile, Claims Car Sales Woman 'Forced' to Quit ; Dealership Bosses Taken to tribunalOffensive Remarks Made Daily, Panel Tolds

Article excerpt

ACAR sales woman left her job because colleagues made crude sexual jibes about fellow staff, mocked disabled customers and called gay people insulting names, an employment tribunal heard.

Helen McGinlay, 52, alleges the 'poisonous atmosphere and working conditions' at the Nissan Westway dealership in Ardwick made her ill and forced her to resign her job of four years.

Mrs McGinlay, who has 30 years experience in the car sales trade, is claiming constructive dismissal. She also alleges that she was unfairly targeted by a new management team over her sales performance and because she was a member of the 'old regime'.

In a statement to the hearing in Manchester, Mrs McGinlay said morning meetings became a 'vehicle for individuals to air offensive and humiliating stories' and 'wholly inappropriate comments' became commonplace in the showroom.

She added in her statement: "The new and used car sales industry is a very male-orientated and dominated industry. "I have always enjoyed working within the industry but I have never endured the type of treatment or witnessed the excesses of behaviour following the change of management in July 2011. Even after all my years of experience within this business, I was shocked and appalled by what happened.

"I am not easily offended and can take a good natured joke. However, the incidents that occurred were far beyond any normal banter that I was used to and that was acceptable.

"It became the case that it was unusual for a day to pass without something horrible or disgusting or humiliating being said."

Mrs McGinlay, from Tottington, Bury, kept a secret diary and recorded notes of conversations at work for months from September last year, the tribunal was told. Two of the respondents in the case, sales manager Michael Chesworth and general manager Paul Lloyd, had been appointed the previous July, the panel heard. In one alleged incident, Mrs McGinlay claims Mr 'The were that used Chesworth made a crude sexual reference about a female colleague during a sales meeting. …

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