Barrhead Travel founder Bill Munro has won an unfair dismissal case against the US firm which bought it for £36 million.
Travel Leaders was wrong to remove the businessman from the business he started as one shop in 1975 and built into one of the UK’s top 10 travel agents, an employment tribunal in Glasgow ruled.
Munro had told the tribunal in December how he took a step back from the business because of heart problems and gave most of the shares to his daughter Sharon, who remained president of the business until last year.
Travel Leaders claimed Bill Munro continued to meddle with the business after the sale. During the tribunal, he became tearful as he spoke of his illness and claimed he was banned from Barrhead Travel’s shops.
He said: “This has been a harrowing, emotional and stressful time. I have had to endure the ordeal of having my life’s achievements being traduced in public. I worked hard for decades to build my company and reputation.
“Is it any wonder I came close to tears as I gave evidence? The treatment to which I was subjected was dreadful and I felt humiliated. But I am a strong and determined person and was never going to lie down.
“I am delighted the tribunal has vindicated me. It has been a traumatic episode at a time when I should be enjoying the rewards of my working life. But the outcome has made it worthwhile and I am grateful to the tribunal, to my solicitor, Stephen Miller, and my many friends and ex colleagues for their support.
“This was never about the money – it was about much more than that … my reputation and my standing in the industry. I also feel for the staff who were with me over many years, some of whom have left their jobs and I feel a sense of responsibility.
“Richard Branson told me that if you’re in business just to create money you won’t – there must be other reasons. He is absolutely correct. I shall take some time to reflect as I consider the challenges which lie ahead. Despite my years, I remain young in mind and spirit.
“And much more remains to be said and done. It may be the case that there will be further legal action in the future.”