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He became an apprentice electrician, joined a local union, and gained technical qualifications from the Gibraltar and Dockyard Technical College. It allowed him to pursue further studies at a technical college in Kent. He studied Engineering at Heriot-Watt University, later becoming a full-time student representative. Later he would gain master's degrees in Optical Electronics, and also Business Economics from the University of Strathclyde. He studied Economics because he did not value the main beliefs of capitalism, which he views mostly as forms of greed.
Cortes' first job after university was for the Banking, Insurance and Finance Union (BIFU). BIFU became UNIFI (trade union) in 1999, then part of Amicus in 2004. He worked for a year as a fundraiser for Amnesty International.
Transport Salaried Staffs' AssociationEdit
In March 1998, Cortes joined the TSSA. TSSA is the UK's second-largest rail union, and was formerly known as the Railway Clerks' Association, a white-collar union. On 15 November 2011, he was elected General Secretary for a five-year term. In December 2016, he was re-elected with 66% of the vote on a turnout of 19%.
- Elgot, Jessica. "Leftwingers launch pro-EU campaign to shift Labour position on Brexit". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 June 2018.
- "Manuel Cortes: our new General Secretary". TSSA. 12 December 2011. Retrieved 3 December 2016.
- "Gibraltarian wins second term at head of UK transport union". Gibraltar Chronicle. 2 December 2016. Retrieved 3 December 2016.
- Wilkinson, Michael (23 August 2016). "Bernie Sanders 'backs Jeremy Corbyn' in Labour leadership race". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 15 July 2017.