Sacked teen takes Michelin to tribunal over bullying claims at Dundee factory

The Michelin tyre-manufacturing factory at Baldovie Road, Dundee.

An apprentice is suing Michelin amid claims he was assaulted and bullied and his “whistle-blowing” cries for help were ignored by bosses.

Jack Dyer was 17 when he started an apprenticeship with tyre-manufacturing giant Michelin at its Dundee factory in August 2015.

But he was sacked in March last year with Michelin claiming that he was “not meeting the performance and behaviour standards overall”.

Now, the teenager is locked in a legal battle with Michelin after suing them for breach of contract and a whistle-blowing claim.

It is alleged that Mr Dyer was being bullied by another apprentice — Barry Cavanagh — which has caused him mental stress and anxiety.

The papers allege that Mr Dyer was assaulted by Mr Cavanagh in a locker room and that the complainer moved the alleged perpetrator’s belongings to another locker in response.

Mr Dyer was suspended pending an allegation of gross misconduct but his solicitors say that Mr Dyer was subjected to “continuous bullying” from September 2016 and this was raised at a meeting prior to the dismissal.

His solicitors say the sacking was “unreasonable and unjustified” and his apprentice status meant they did not have the right to sack him on the grounds they did. They say there is no evidence that Mr Dyer was a poor performer in work and that procedural failings tainted the process.

In regards to the whistle-blowing claim, the documents allege that Mr Dyer’s “qualifying and protected disclosure” about being assaulted at work should have been passed on to police due to it being a criminal offence but that never happened.

The tribunal was held on December 18 and 19, and resumes on April 24 and 25.

Mr Dyer’s lawyer Ryan Russell, of Muir Myles and Laverty, said that it would be inappropriate to comment given the tribunal is already under way.

It comes weeks after Stan Reid took the tyre factory to a tribunal following being sacked for attending a gin tasting while off with stress in the aftermath of two of his best friends being stabbed to death and his friend’s son – who he had known from birth – had fallen off a cliff.

A decision is expected in Mr Reid’s case in the coming weeks.