Joan Collins TD writes of her anger at attempts to demote and sideline Ireland’s highly-regarded top Unite officer
Independent Irish TD (member of the Irish Dail (Parliament) Joan Collins has paid tribute to Irish trade unionist Brendan Ogle – and condemned the Unite union’s attempt to demote and sideline its most senior Irish officer after his return from successful cancer treatment, which was first broken by Skwawkbox.
Outrage continues to mount in Ireland at what locals say is a London-driven political attack on Ireland’s most senior Unite officer, Brendan Ogle, in an attempt to coerce him into a demotion and a sidelined job 100 miles or so from his usual base after his return from successful cancer treatment. The move has seen branches write to Graham demanding Ogle’s return to his normal duties, Irish politicians express their condemnation – and even one of the union’s big sectors start moves to disaffiliate entirely from Unite.
I am really angry to read this article. Trade Unions are suppose to protect workers rights, pay and conditions. When a young migrant worker, Lenka Laiermanova approached me in relation to pay and conditions and the robbing of workers tips by the Ivy Restaurant in Dublin I organised workers to meet Brendan Ogle. There was no hesitation by Brendan to immediately offer UNITE’s support. He knew that it would be a difficult struggle but with his determination and his fundamental instinct to organise against employers mistreatment of workers, he welcomed these workers into the Union and set to the task of organising these workers.
The Ivy Restaurant ultimately sacked these workers because of their right to join a Trade Union and despite Brendan’s illness he took their case to the Labour court and defended them and ultimately won that case, the first of its kind in the history of the state.
To read this article I am hugely disappointed and angry that a Trade Union could possibly use tactics akin to the bosses of workers that this Union has organised against in the past. I would appeal to UNITE members to support Brendan Ogle, for his immediate re-instatement to his job and responsibilities before Brendan’s serious illness. Solidarity to Brendan Ogle.
As Skwawkbox revealed yesterday, Unite general secretary Sharon Graham has cancelled a planned appearance tomorrow at the union’s Irish policy conference, where she was scheduled to speak and take part in a question and answer session. No reason has been given.
Unite has said that it will not answer any questions from Skwawkbox, which continues to be essentially the only UK media covering these alleged ‘tactics akin to the bosses of workers that this Union has organised against in the past’.
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