A former Nisa-Today's business development manager at the centre of a row during the company's failed merger with Costcutter hopes to sue his former company for constructive dismissal.

John Woodward brought his claim at an employment tribunal in Shrewsbury this week. The claim relates to incidents in September 2006 when a letter from Woodward to Nisa chief executive Neil Turton, subsequently leaked to the press, claimed Nisa was ignoring applications from Costcutter retailers hoping to sign up to their fascia.

Woodward suggested the companies had an unwritten agreement banning Nisa from poaching Costcutter members.

Woodward, who worked at Nisa for 15 years, said he was told by management that he was not allowed to solicit franchisees of Costcutter. He also alleged that Nisa directors filtered applications so approaches from Costcutter members were deleted.

When the merger was on the table, opponents urged Costcutter members to transfer from the symbol group and deal directly with Nisa, rendering a deal pointless.

Woodward resigned last April but later claimed for constructive dismissal. Nisa denies the allegation. The case is now set to be adjourned until June.