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Monday 5 December 2016

‘My walk-off from Vincent Browne’s show wasn’t a stunt’ says SIPTU boss Jack O'Connor

SIPTU boss Jack O'Connor on TV3's 'Tonight With Vincent Browne'
Pic: TV3
SIPTU boss Jack O'Connor on TV3's 'Tonight With Vincent Browne' Pic: TV3
SIPTU boss Jack O'Connor on TV3's 'Tonight With Vincent Browne'. Socialist Party TD Ruth Coppinger and journalist Eamon Delaney are also part of the panel Pic: TV3
SIPTU boss Jack O'Connor on TV3's 'Tonight With Vincent Browne'. In this picture, he is seen walking off the set. Socialist Party TD Ruth Coppinger and journalist Eamon Delaney are also part of the panel Pic: TV3
SIPTU boss Jack O'Connor on TV3's 'Tonight With Vincent Browne'. Socialist Party TD Ruth Coppinger and journalist Eamon Delaney are also part of the panel Pic: TV3
SIPTU boss Jack O'Connor on TV3's 'Tonight With Vincent Browne'. Socialist Party TD Ruth Coppinger and journalist Eamon Delaney are also part of the panel Pic: TV3
SIPTU boss Jack O'Connor on TV3's 'Tonight With Vincent Browne'. In this picture he is seen walking off the set. Socialist Party TD Ruth Coppinger and journalist Eamon Delaney are also part of the panel Pic: TV3

SIPTU chief Jack O’Connor has denied that his dramatic walk-off during Vincent Browne’s TV3 show was a “stunt.”

The union general secretary walked off the set last night during a live television discussion of the Dunnes Store strike.

He had been appearing on the panel with Socialist Party TD Ruth Coppinger and journalist Eamon Delaney.

READ MORE: TV3's Vincent Browne accuses SIPTU boss of 'stunt' after he walks off show live on air

The conversation between the host and O’Connor became heated, over the issue of whether TV3 management refuses to recognise their employees’ right to “collective bargaining.”

O’Connor also appeared to take exception when Browne questioned him about his support for the Labour Party.

He began to move his microphone and moments later left the set.

“Okay good luck Jack. Quite a stunt isn’t it. Well done Jack, It’s impressive isn’t it?” Mr Browne said.

However speaking to the Herald today, O’Connor said that his walk-off was not planned.

“I didn’t go on with the intention of doing a walk-off.”

He said he was contacted after 6pm last night and asked to go on the show.

“I don’t refuse to go into the media when I’m asked if I can at all, because it affords us an opportunity to put forward our point of view.”

He said he wasn’t sure whether TV3 respects its employees’ right to participate in collective bargaining.

“I wasn’t particularly thinking of it,” he said.

However as the discussion unfolded, he found himself  being questioned on the reason why the Labour Party, which has secured a commitment that legislation would be enacted to support workers’ rights to collective bargaining, had not succeeded in bringing it about. thus far in the life of the Government

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