Brendan Ogle Wife complaint against Unite Trade Union to WRC

Brendan Ogle, a prominent figure in the Irish trade union movement, has taken his allegations of victimization and discrimination to the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC). The Unite union leader claims he was subjected to abuse and harassment following his return to work after a serious illness.

Allegations of victimization

According to documents submitted to the WRC, Ogle claims he was discriminated against and harassed on the basis of disability following his return to work after a year-long illness. He claims that upon his return, his employer systematically withdrew his “duties, tasks and responsibilities,” thus ostracizing him from the union. This treatment, Ogle claims, amounted to victimization and discrimination, profoundly affecting his professional role and responsibilities.

Ogle also claims he was penalized for making a protected disclosure related to following COVID-19 protocols during the pandemic. Although he raised his concerns with his employer, he alleges the mistreatment continued unabated. These claims, which highlight significant concerns about workplace fairness and adherence to health and safety protocols, have now become central to his case before the WRC.

Social media and public comments

The conflict between Ogle and Unite gained public attention when Ogle’s wife, Mandy La Combre, made a Facebook post alleging that her husband was being isolated and excluded from his normal union duties. La Combre’s message claimed that despite maintaining his job title and salary, Ogle was excluded from key aspects of his job, a situation she described as a deliberate effort to isolate him from other members of the union who respected him.

“This is clearly a deliberate exercise to isolate him from all his normal union duties and an attempt to keep him away from other Unite members who respect him and wonder where he is now that he came back. [to work]», Wrote La Combre. The post attracted a lot of attention and further fueled the dispute between Ogle and his employer.

Union response and media coverage

In response to these allegations, Unite has consistently denied any wrongdoing. The union maintains that Ogle’s allegations of mistreatment and exclusion are unfounded. However, public commentary surrounding the case, particularly La Combre’s social media post, amplified the controversy.

Last year, the Irish Examiner reported on the rift between Ogle and his employer following his return to work after illness. Media coverage highlighted Ogle’s claims that he was marginalized despite maintaining his official position and salary. The ongoing dispute has raised important questions about the treatment of employees returning from serious illness and the responsibilities of unions and employers in such situations.

A long-time union leader

Brendan Ogle’s prominence in the labor movement spans more than two decades. He first gained national attention as general secretary of the Irish Locomotive Drivers Association, where he played a key role in organizing a railway workers’ strike in 2000. His leadership and commitment made making him a well-known figure in industrial relations in Ireland.

Ogle’s current battle with Unite, however, marks an important and controversial chapter in his career. The allegations of discrimination and harassment, combined with allegations of penalization for making a protected disclosure, highlight the challenges he faces. The outcome of its WRC trial could have far-reaching implications for both its future and its wider union practices.

WRC Proceedings

As debates at the WRC continue, the focus remains on the specific allegations made by Ogle and Unite’s responses. Ogle’s claims that he was stripped of responsibility and penalized for raising health and safety concerns during the pandemic form the crux of his case. The WRC’s ruling will be crucial in determining whether Ogle’s treatment by his employer constitutes discrimination, harassment and victimization under employment law.

The case also highlights the importance of protected disclosures and protections afforded to employees who raise concerns about workplace practices. Ogle’s allegations suggest a troubling scenario in which reporting issues related to COVID-19 protocols may have led to further mistreatment, an issue of great concern during the ongoing global pandemic.


Brendan Ogle’s lawsuit against the Unite union highlights critical issues of workplace discrimination, harassment and the treatment of employees returning from serious illness. As the WRC deliberates on the issue, the implications for workplace practices, union responsibilities and employee rights are profound. The resolution of this case will not only impact Ogle’s professional future, but will also set important precedents for how similar cases will be handled in the future, highlighting the need for a positive working environment fair and united.

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