Brendan Ogle Wife complaint against Unite Trade Union to WRC

Brendan Ogle, a prominent figure in Ireland’s trade union movement, has taken his allegations of victimization and discrimination to the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC). The senior officer of the Unite trade union claims he faced mistreatment and harassment following his return to work after a serious illness.

Allegations of Victimization

According to documents submitted to the WRC, Ogle alleges that he was discriminated against and harassed due to a disability following his return to work after a year-long illness. He claims that upon his return, his employer systematically removed his “duties, tasks, and responsibilities,” effectively sidelining him within the union. This treatment, Ogle asserts, amounted to victimization and discrimination, deeply impacting his professional role and responsibilities.

Ogle also contends that he faced penalization for making a protected disclosure related to adherence to COVID-19 protocols during the pandemic. Despite reporting his concerns to his employer, he alleges that 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 Commentary

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 post claimed that despite retaining his job title and pay, Ogle was being frozen out of key aspects of his work, a situation she described as a deliberate effort to isolate him from other union members who respected him.

“This is clearly a deliberate exercise in isolating him from any of his normal union duties and an attempt to keep him away from others in Unite who respect him, and are wondering where he is now that he has returned [to work],” La Combre wrote. The post drew significant attention and further fueled the dispute between Ogle and his employer.

Union’s Response and Media Coverage

In response to these allegations, Unite has consistently denied any wrongdoing. The union maintains that there is no substance to Ogle’s claims of mistreatment and exclusion. However, the public commentary surrounding the case, particularly La Combre’s social media post, has amplified the controversy.

Last year, the Irish Examiner reported on the rift between Ogle and his employer following his return to work after illness. The coverage highlighted Ogle’s claims of being marginalized despite retaining his formal 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 Longstanding Union Leader

Brendan Ogle’s prominence in the trade union movement spans over two decades. He first gained national attention as the general secretary of the Irish Locomotive Drivers Association, where he played a key role in organizing a rail strike in 2000. His leadership and advocacy have made him a well-known figure in industrial relations in Ireland.

Ogle’s current battle with Unite, however, marks a significant and contentious chapter in his career. The allegations of discrimination and harassment, combined with the claims of penalization for making a protected disclosure, underscore the challenges he faces. The outcome of his case before the WRC could have far-reaching implications for both his future and broader union practices.

Proceedings at the WRC

As the proceedings at the WRC continue, the focus remains on the specific allegations made by Ogle and the responses from Unite. Ogle’s claims of being stripped of his responsibilities and being penalized for raising health and safety concerns during the pandemic form the crux of his case. The WRC’s adjudication will be pivotal 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 the protections afforded to employees who raise concerns about workplace practices. Ogle’s allegations suggest a troubling scenario where reporting issues related to COVID-19 protocols may have led to further mistreatment, an issue of significant concern during the ongoing global pandemic.


Brendan Ogle’s case against the Unite trade union sheds light on critical issues of workplace discrimination, harassment, and the treatment of employees returning from serious illness. As the WRC deliberates on the matter, 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 also set important precedents for how similar cases are handled in the future, emphasizing the need for fair and supportive workplace environments.

Leave a Comment