Pizza and porn? Union says Ont. 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

  • Gunman that targeted Washington pizza shop led turbulent life

    World News CTV News
    SALISBURY, N.C. - The man accused of firing an assault rifle inside a Washington restaurant appears to have lived an aimless life that became turbulent in the weeks before he was drawn to the nation's capital by a fake news story. Source
  • Pakistan opens probe into plane crash that killed 47

    World News CTV News
    GUG, Pakistan - Pakistani authorities have opened a probe into the deadly plane crash in the country's northwest the previous day that killed all 47 passengers and crew, a spokesman said Thursday. Pervez George of the Civil Aviation Authority told The Associated Press that experts are working in the hillside village of Gug in the district of Abbottabad, where the small twin-propeller aircraft crashed and burst into flames after developing a fault in one of its two engines. Source
  • Search for survivors continues in Indonesia as death toll climbs to 102

    World News CBC News
    Rescue workers, soldiers and police combed through the rubble of a devastated town in Indonesia's Aceh province Thursday, resuming a search for earthquake survivors that was halted at night by rain and blackouts. More than 100 people died in the shallow and powerful quake that struck northeast Sumatra before dawn on Wednesday. Source
  • Motion to impeach South Korea's president introduced

    World News CBC News
    South Korea's parliament introduced a bill on Thursday to impeach President Park Geun-hye, setting in motion a vote to oust the embattled leader engulfed in an influence-peddling scandal. Parliament is expected to vote on impeaching Park on Friday and opposition parties have said they believe they will get the two-thirds majority needed to pass the bill. Source
  • Trump takes to Twitter to criticize union leader critical of Indiana deal

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON - President-elect Donald Trump is slamming a union leader who criticized his deal to discourage air conditioner manufacturer Carrier Corp. from closing an Indiana factory and moving its jobs to Mexico. Trump tweeted Wednesday evening: "Chuck Jones, who is President of United Steelworkers 1999, has done a terrible job representing workers. Source
  • Rebel loss in Aleppo could have domino effect

    World News CTV News
    ALEPPO, Syria -- Aleppo shakes with explosions and gunfire day and night in both the government-- and rebel-held sides of the divided Syrian city. But for supporters of President Bashar Assad, there is a growing sense of imminent victory. Source
  • South Korean parliament sets up presidential impeachment vote

    World News CTV News
    SEOUL, Korea, Republic Of - South Korea's opposition-controlled parliament has formally introduced an impeachment motion on President Park Geun-hye. This sets the stage for a likely impeachment vote Friday. A parliamentary official reported the motion to a plenary session Thursday. Source
  • Campus cop shot teen holding knife at Nevada high school

    World News CTV News
    RENO, Nev. -- A campus police officer shot a knife-wielding student at a Nevada high school on Wednesday during a confrontation witnessed by dozens of other students, Reno police said. The 14-year-old boy was reported in critical condition Wednesday night at a Reno hospital, Police Chief Jason Soto said. Source
  • Italian PM Renzi quits as search begins for new leader

    World News CTV News
    ROME -- Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi resigned Wednesday evening, his self-inflicted penalty for staking his job on constitutional changes voters resoundingly rejected earlier in the week. He will stay in a caretaker's role at the request of Italy's president until a new government can be formed. Source
  • Winnipeg man pleads guilty to bigamy

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    A former Winnipeg man married to two women for more than a year has learned what happens in Vegas doesn’t always stay in Vegas. The 43-year-old man pleaded guilty in Winnipeg court Wednesday to one count of bigamy. Source