What Are They Gonna Do? Put Them In Prison?

Thousands of prison officers are defying a High Court injunction and refusing to end their national strike over a pay dispute.

The surprise walkout by members of the Prison Officers’ Association (POA) in England and Wales began at 0700 BST.The action came after it pulled out of a no-strike agreement with government.

Officers in Bristol, Canterbury and Long Lartin returned to work in the afternoon, but other POA members said they would stay out for 24 hours.

Frolix put it nicely-

The Government’s message is all too clear: work harder, in deteriorating conditions, while we year on year cut your pay but try to withdraw your labour and we’ll force you back to work using the courts.

And this is supposed to be a Labour government? 

And as he also says prison officers are less sympathetic than nurses, but they are agents of the implied violence of the state, if the govt. cannot control them it loses some authority, some legitimacy. Which drives authoritarians nuts especially with their newly minted Ministry of Justice, MiniJust won’t be pleased. It also shows the inherent conservatism of the Blair project, the restrictions on the prison officers labour rights started with the Tories and NuLab continued them while spinning that it hadn’t-

In the event of the POA giving notice to terminate the legally enforceable collective agreement in circumstances where further agreement was not possible, the Secretary of State would seek during the 12-month period of notice of withdrawal from the agreement to reapply Section 127 through primary legislation.

the prison officers have full union rights on condition that they don’t use them!  How wonderfully New Labour.


4 Responses to “What Are They Gonna Do? Put Them In Prison?”

  1. libhomo Says:

    Maybe British unions need to start their own party. (I know this sounds snarky, but I’m quite serious.)

  2. Renegade Eye Says:

    I have mixed feelings about supporting prison guards. I don’t really have a position.

    Police definetly not.

  3. frolix22 Says:

    Well I think such mixed feelings are justified, Ren, and I share them.

    My interest in this latest action is a local and specific one, mainly in the particular relation it has to the issue of how public sector workers in Britain are treated by the British Government.

    As I pointed out, prison officers are an unsympathetic case in many ways. However, the way the Government is behaving towards them reflects the way it is behaving towards the public sector generally. Deteriorating pay and conditions, erosion of union rights and the use of the courts to prevent withdrawal of labour. This generalises to much more sympathetic cases such as nurses and other health workers.

  4. RickB Says:

    The Godless one! Joke of the week sir, I doff my cap, and er yes, looks like that would be a good idea.

    Yeah Renegade I get your feelings and I think Frolix nuances it well. Mmm, if one had to pick the battle I’d put the fight behind the Nurses, I hope the POA action allows for them to really make strong defence of their demands. Fundamentally caring professions are exploited by the inherently selfish cruelty of ‘free’ market capitalism. Govt. & management know a nurse will ultimately not withdraw care from someone needing it so they abuse that trait for profit. Which is pretty despicable, I don’t really care if conservatives of any party want to call it an ideology, it’s just a mean spirited denial of the best in humanity.

    –“Rats and roaches live by competition under the laws of supply and demand. It is the privilege of human beings to live under the laws of justice and mercy.”

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