Pizza and porn? Union says jails preparing for long strike

The Ontario government is preparing for a possible jail guard strike beginning Sunday at detention facilities across the province, with efforts already underway to make life as comfortable as possible for the managers who will be watching prisoners during negotiations.

See Full Article

Sleeping trailers have been set up in exercise yards, couches and televisions have been brought in on trucks, and managers have been promised large paydays to cover for the absent jail guards, in the event a new deal is not reached by 12:01 a.m. on Sunday.

"They are just coming in with supplies and trailers, and pretty much creating a small city in the back of the institutions," Denis Collin, President of OPSEU Local 411, told CTV News. "They're prepared."

Collin added that the province is bringing in managers from other ministries to help meet its staffing needs. "Some of them are actually replacement managers," he said. "They have no experience. They've been getting a crash course."

Negotiations have been ongoing between the province and the Ontario Public Service Employees Union, which represents 6,000 jail guards and probation officers in the province. OPSEU is demanding its members be paid on the same level as police and firefighters, and for jail workers to be considered an essential service. The union also wants Ontario to address issues of workplace safety, jail overcrowding and staffing levels.

OPSEU President Warren "Smokey" Thomas warned that an extended strike could put the public at risk, both in the jails and outside of them. For instance, if parole officers go on strike, supervision is expected to be cut in half for the 50,000 individuals currently on parole in the province.

"They expect a handful of managers to supervise them," Thomas said. "That's humanly impossible for the workforce as it currently stands, because we have the highest caseloads of probation and parole in Canada."

Disturbances broke out at facilities across the province the last time jail guards went on strike, during a 54-day strike by civil servants in 2002.

"There were a lot of riots, there were fires," Thomas said. "I fear that those jails will get out of control fairly quickly."

Thomas says he expects managers to use the same approach to placate prisoners that they used in 2002: "They'll feed them pizza, popcorn and porn."

Jail staff have been without a contract since December 2014.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Alberta man pays off $85,000 in debt by living in camping trailer for 4 years

    Canada News CTV News
    A Calgary man has paid off more than $85,000 of debt by spending nearly four years living in a six-metre-long camping trailer parked on city streets. Geoffrey Westlock says he was working in a warehouse in late 2013 when his boss frightened him by suggesting the business might shut down. Source
  • B.C. to legislate pollution reduction targets, appoints climate advisory council

    Canada News CTV News
    VICTORIA -- British Columbia has appointed a team of environmental and industry advisers to help the New Democrat government set and meet legislated pollution reduction targets. Environment Minister George Heyman says he plans to introduce climate legislation next spring that aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 40 per cent below 2007 levels over the next 13 years. Source
  • U.S. general lays out Niger attack details; questions remain

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- The U.S. special forces unit ambushed by Islamic militants in Niger didn't call for help until an hour into their first contact with the enemy, the top U.S. general said Monday, as he tried to clear up some of the murky details of the assault that killed four American troops and has triggered a nasty political brawl. Source
  • Police seek help to identify dead boy found on Texas beach

    World News Toronto Sun
    GALVESTON, Texas — Police are asking the public to help identify a young boy whose body was found on a beach in Southeast Texas. Galveston police say the boy, aged 3 to 5 years, was found Friday evening and that no one has reported a child missing. Source
  • 'She has fun taunting me'; O.J. reportedly confessed to friend ex-wife Nicole haunts him from the afterlife

    World News Toronto Sun
    Disgraced O.J. Simpson was acquitted of the 1994 murders of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman but he’s been haunted and terrorized by her ghost ever since! Former pal Vernon Nelson told RadarOnline.com that Simpson shockingly confessed to him, “Nicole haunts me from the afterlife. Source
  • American-born Putin critic Bill Browder unable to enter U.S.

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- American lawmakers are demanding answers from their national government after a foe of Vladimir Putin, born in the United States, was allegedly denied entry into his native United States, in a case with cross-border repercussions. Source
  • Michigan teens charged with murder in highway rock incident

    World News CTV News
    FLINT, Mich. -- Five teenagers accused of throwing rocks from a Michigan highway overpass were charged with second-degree murder Monday in the death of a man killed when one of them smashed the windshield of a van in which he was riding. Source
  • Tampa neighbourhood fears serial killer after 3 killings

    World News CTV News
    TAMPA, Fla. -- Police escorted children to school Monday and a city bus changed up its usual route as a neighbourhood near downtown Tampa feared a serial killer may be on the loose. In the last two weeks, three people have been shot to death within a 1-mile (1.6-kilometre) radius in the normally quiet Seminole Heights neighbourhood. Source
  • Two moose shot, abandoned with parts missing in northwestern Ontario

    Canada News CTV News
    SIOUX LOOKOUT, Ont. -- The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry is investigating after two male moose were killed in northwestern Ontario over the last month, their noses and tongues removed but the rest of their carcasses left to rot. Source
  • Ohio woman indicted in boy's fatal drug overdose at sleepover

    World News CTV News
    COLUMBUS, Ohio -- A woman has been indicted on involuntary manslaughter and child-endangering charges in the death of a 12-year-old boy who authorities say died from a fentanyl overdose during a sleepover at her Ohio apartment. Source