Analysis comment

Graham congratulates La Combre on activism – as anon smears start for complaining of Unite’s treatment of husband

Smear campaign against Mandy La Combre after she complained publicly of ‘disgusting’ treatment of her husband who fought cancer to return as Unite’s senior officer in Ireland – but she has received congratulations from Unite boss for her activism and promising union ‘is with you every step of the way’

Unite activist Mandy La Combre and husband Brendan Ogle at a campaign against water charges in Ireland

A smear campaign involving anonymous accounts has started against Mandy La Combre after the Unite activist complained publicly about the union’s alleged attempt to freeze out and demote her husband Brendan Ogle, Unite’s leading officer in the Republic of Ireland. The popular Mr Ogle has recently returned from treatment for cancer, but Ms La Combre says the union has been trying to coerce him into accepting a demotion and a move to an office some hundred miles away from his home base. Unite denies the allegations.

But attempts to undermine La Combre’s credibility are themselves undermined by Unite general secretary Sharon Graham’s letter to her as a Unite rep, congratulating her on her dedication as a Unite activist:

The letter acknowledges that Ms La Combre was elected by fellow members to represent them – not the usual outcome one would expect if any of the smears and innuendo had any substance.

And it promises that Sharon Graham and the union will be ‘with you every step of the way’. Major branches of Unite in Ireland have already written to Ms Graham demanding action from her personally to end the mistreatment of Brendan Ogle. Will Unite and its boss live up to their promise?

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