Union members rally behind Ireland’s senior trade unionist against ‘London’ attempt to sideline him
The Unite union in Ireland has been stirred like a hornet’s nest by what the wife of Brendan Ogle says is a political attack from London on her husband, the country’s most senior Unite officer, who has just returned to work after intensive cancer treatment.
Mandy La Combre posted to her Facebook page about the ‘disgusting’ attempt to sideline Ogle and demote him to a job to an office some 100 miles from his home.
Unite continues to deny her allegations, but the country’s Unite branches have begun to organise in solidarity with their representative – and the union’s entire Irish hospitality and tourism section has already written to the union demanding answers and a U-turn.
And now the 1/87 branch met in Dungarvan and agreed the following to be sent to Unite general secretary Sharon Graham, expressing their ‘absolute outrage, disgust and deep concerns’ at the ‘mistreatment and bullying’ they say has been directed at their officer – and demanding his immediate reinstatement:
For the immediate attention of Unite General Secretary Sharon Graham
I write to you following the conclusion of the 1/87 Branch meeting that took place on Tuesday 13th September in Dungarvan Co.Waterford.
On behalf of the branch officials, committee and workplace representatives and Unite members they represent, we must convey and not underestimate the absolute outrage, disgust and deep concerns displayed and robustly conveyed owing to what is now full public knowledge, in that our Senior Officer and comrade Mr.Ogle who has recently returned to his role following a long illness and recovery from cancer in what can only be quantified as a deliberate attempt to marginalise and exclude Mr. Ogle from undertaking his full duties as the Senior Officer of Unite.
Without question our branch have ultimately determined that the above disgusting mistreatment and bullying of our Senior Officer cannot and must not be condoned by any organisation let alone Unite the Union.
Notwithstanding that all organisations support and comply to a zero tolerance to bullying in any form, therefore we are seeking in fully supporting Mr. Ogle that he is immediately returned to his full duties as the Senior Officer of the ROI.
Mr.Ogle has and will continue to be a leader in the fight against unscrupulous employers in identifying, challenging and fighting the exploitation and abuse of worker’s rights.
As Trade Unionists we must hold all employer’s accountable if they refuse to or renege on any of these standards inclusive of all Unions.
We will continue and endeavour to extend our undivided support and solidarity to Mr. Ogle while we await your response and position as General Secretary.
Sharon Graham is scheduled to appear in Dublin next week for Unite’s Irish policy conference. Suffering cancer is a protected characteristic under UK equality laws. The union is said to have attempted to claim concerns about Brendan Ogle’s health, but both doctors and occupational health experts have certified him for a full return.
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