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Transport Salaried Staffs' Association

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Transport Salaried Staffs' Association
Headquarters2nd Floor, 17 Devonshire Square, London EC2M 4SQ
Decrease 18,142 (2021)[1]
Key people
Marios Alexandrou, Interim President
Maryam Eslamdoust, General Secretary
AffiliationsTUC, ICTU, STUC, CSEU, ETF, Labour Party[2]

The Transport Salaried Staffs' Association (TSSA) is a trade union for workers in the transport and travel industries in the United Kingdom and Ireland. Its head office is in London, and it has regional offices in Bristol, Derby, Dublin, York and Glasgow.

TSSA has approximately 18,000 members in the UK and Ireland.[1] While principally a union for people in the railway industry, the effect of the nationalisation and subsequent privatisations following the Second World War has meant that it has members working for railway companies, shipping companies, bus companies, travel agencies, airlines, call centres, and IT companies.

TSSA's former headquarters


The union was founded in Sheffield in 1897 as the National Association of General Railway Clerks, although it was a narrow decision to found the union. The railway companies were strongly opposed to trade unions and two earlier attempts to form a clerks' union had failed and, discouraged, the organisers decided by a majority of only one vote to try a third time - this time successfully. In 1899 it was renamed the Railway Clerks' Association (RCA), and in 1951 it adopted its current name.[3]

The union has been involved in at least one London Underground strike, between 6 and 7 September 2010.[4]

In July 2015, TSSA endorsed Jeremy Corbyn's campaign in the Labour Party leadership election.[5] TSSA National Political Officer, Sam Tarry spearheaded Corbyn's second leadership campaign.[6]

In September 2021, TSSA announced that it was in talks about merging the union with the North American Boilermakers Union with the viewpoint of completing the merger by 1 July 2022.[7][8] In January 2022, union representatives voted by 88% to agree to the merger,[9] however the Boilermakers withdrew from the merger later in the year.

In early 2022, the union was granted an injunction on an employee who has accused Manuel Cortes, the general secretary of the TSSA of sexual harassment and of bullying by senior staff members. Cortes claimed that he had no memory of the evening due to excessive drinking. The injunction forbade the woman from talking about the alleged harassment and bullying.[10] Later that year an inquiry was opened into the union, led by Helena Kennedy KC, to examine allegations of sexual harassment and bullying towards women within the union,[11] with Manuel Cortes resigning with immediate effect a month later.[12] The Kennedy inquiry reported in February 2023 that the union had seen a culture of sexual harassment and sexual assault over the course of several years along with coercive behaviour. Kennedy called for several senior leaders of the union to resign and that external auditors should be brought in to examine the union's finances.[13] An earlier critical report which concluded that equality, diversity and inclusion objectives were not being met was not made public until February 2023.[14][15]

In May 2023 TSSA members elected a new President, Melissa Heywood, and Treasurer, Mary Sithole.[16] This was the first time TSSA had elected women to both National Officer positions at the same time. Later in 2023 TSSA members elected a new General Secretary, Maryam Eslamdoust, who was the first woman and the first person of colour to hold the post.[17][18]

Office holders[edit]

General Secretaries[edit]

Peter Pendle, Joint Interim General Secretary, standing in TSSA Headquarters, 2023.
1897: Charles Bassett-Vincent[19]
1898: John Hereford[19]
1898: F. Parrish (acting)[19]
1899: John Stopford Challener[19]
1906: William J. West (acting)[19]
1906: Alexander Walkden[19]
1936: William Stott[19]
1940: Charles Gallie[19]
1947: Fred Bostock[19]
1948: Percy Heady (acting)[19]
1949: George Thorneycroft[19]
1953: Bill Webber[19]
1963: John Bothwell[19]
1968: Percy Coldrick[19]
1973: David Mackenzie[19]
1977: Tom Bradley (acting)[19]
1977: Tom Jenkins[19]
1982: Bert Lyons[19]
1989: Richard Rosser[19]
2004: Gerry Doherty
2011: Manuel Cortes[20]
2022: Frank Ward (acting)
2023: Peter Pendle (Interim Joint General Secretary)[21]
2023: Maryam Eslamdoust[18]


1897: J. Batty Langley[22]
1899: W. D. Leaver[22]
1900: Fortescue Flannery[22]
1906: William J. West[22]
1908: George Lathan[22]
1912: Herbert Romeril[22]
1916: W. E. Williams[22]
1919: Harry Gill[22]
1932: Fred Simpson[22]
1937: Frederick Watkins[22]
1943: Percy Morris[22]
1953: James Haworth[22]
1956: Ray Gunter[22]
1964: Tom Bradley[22]
1977: Walter Johnson[22]
1981: Jim Mills[22]
1987: Geoff Henman[22]
1993: Brenda Hanks [22]
1997: David Horton[22]
2001: David Porter[22]
2005: Andy Bain
2011: Harriet Yeo
2013: Mick Carney
2023: Marios Alexandrou
2023: Melissa Heywood


1906: J. M. Roberts[23]
1920: W. E. Williams[23]
1927: Arnold Ernest Townend[23]
1934: Frederick Watkins MP[23]
1937: Percy Morris[23]
1943: James Haworth MP[23]
1953: Ray J. Gunter MP[23]
1956: Lord Lindgren[23]
1961: Tom G. Bradley MP[23]
1965: Walter Johnson MP[23]
1977: Jock Newall (acting)[23]
1977: Jim Mills[23]
1981: Stanley Cohen MP[23]
1984: Geoff Henman[23]
1987: Brenda Hanks[23]
1993: Peter Holloway (acting)[23]
1993: David Horton[23]
1997: David Porter[23]
2001: Annie Breen[23]
2004: Amarjit Singh (acting)[23]
2004: Andy Bain[23]
2005: Harriet Yeo[23]
2011: Mick Carney
2013: Andy Bain
2015: Jason Turvey
2019: Al Stoten
2023: Nicola Jukes
2023: Mary Sithole


  1. ^ a b "Form AR21: Transport Salaried Staffs' Association" (PDF). GOV.UK. 26 July 2023.
  2. ^ "TULO's member unions". Archived from the original on 11 March 2012. Retrieved 31 March 2012.
  3. ^ Malcolm Wallace (1996). "Birth of the Union". Single or Return. TSSA. Archived from the original on 8 December 2007. Retrieved 15 December 2007.
  4. ^ "Government Housing Resources". 3 May 2014. Archived from the original on 3 May 2014.
  5. ^ "TSSA backs Jeremy Corbyn for Labour leader and Angela Eagle for deputy". Transport Salaried Staffs' Association. 30 July 2015. Archived from the original on 12 January 2020. Retrieved 15 July 2017.
  6. ^ "The Top 100 People on the Left List 2016". Ian Dale. 24 September 2016. Retrieved 15 December 2019.
  7. ^ "TSSA enters a transatlantic merger talks first". TSSA. 20 September 2021. Retrieved 4 February 2022.
  8. ^ "Transport union TSSA in talks over merger with US counterpart". BBC News. 24 September 2021. Retrieved 4 February 2022.
  9. ^ "TSSA workplace reps vote for merger". TSSA. 31 January 2022. Retrieved 4 February 2022.
  10. ^ "Union enforces NDA to stop woman repeating sexual harassment allegation". the Guardian. 10 May 2022. Retrieved 10 May 2022.
  11. ^ Syal, Rajeev; editor, Rajeev Syal Home affairs (21 September 2022). "Inquiry launched into alleged sexual harassment by union leader". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 8 February 2023. {{cite news}}: |last2= has generic name (help)
  12. ^ "Retirement of TSSA General Secretary". TSSA. 26 October 2022. Retrieved 8 February 2023.
  13. ^ Syal, Rajeev; editor, Rajeev Syal Home affairs (8 February 2023). "Damning report uncovers years of sexual harassment at transport union". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 8 February 2023. {{cite news}}: |last2= has generic name (help)
  14. ^ Smythe, Polly (22 February 2023). "Trade Union Accused of Sitting on Report Into 'Toxic' Culture". Novara Media. Retrieved 23 February 2023.
  15. ^ Conley, Hazel; Gasparri, Stefano (13 August 2022). "Equality Policy and Practice in the TSSA" (PDF). TSSA. Retrieved 23 February 2023.
  16. ^ "TSSA elects Women President and Treasurer in "historic" first". TSSA. 24 May 2023. Retrieved 9 June 2023.
  17. ^ Rodgers, Sienna (22 November 2022). "'A fresh start': TSSA's new general secretary Maryam Eslamdoust". Politics Home. Archived from the original on 1 December 2023. Retrieved 2 December 2023.
  18. ^ a b Jones, Alan (10 October 2023). "Transport union elects its first female general secretary". Evening Standard. Retrieved 10 October 2023.
  19. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s Malcolm Wallace; Dave Hillam (2003) [1996]. "General Secretaries of the Association". Single or Return. TSSA. Archived from the original on 20 October 2007. Retrieved 15 December 2007.
  20. ^ "Gibraltarian wins second term at head of UK transport union". Gibraltar Chronicle. 2 December 2016. Retrieved 3 December 2016.
  21. ^ "Peter Pendle appointed Interim (joint) General Secretary". TSSA. 6 March 2023.
  22. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t Malcolm Wallace; Dave Hillam (2003) [1996]. "Presidents of the Association". Single or Return. TSSA. Archived from the original on 20 October 2007. Retrieved 15 December 2007.
  23. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v Malcolm Wallace; Dave Hillam (2003) [1996]. "Treasurers of the Association". Single or Return. TSSA. Archived from the original on 20 October 2007. Retrieved 15 December 2007.

External links[edit]