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

  • Norway: At least 3 injured in family-related stabbing attack

    World News CTV News
    COPENHAGEN, Denmark - A suspect was arrested in Norway after at least three people were stabbed with a sharp object, leaving one critically injured Friday, police said. Police at first said the attack in the village of Nore as random, but later clarified that there was “a family relationship” between the assailant and at least one of the victims. Source
  • Anti-abortion activist is charged with stalking a California doctor who provides abortions

    World News CTV News
    A Los Angeles man is facing multiple charges after prosecutors allege he was part of a group of anti-abortion activists who targeted a women's health clinic and stalked a doctor who provides abortion services, the San Francisco District Attorney's Office announced Thursday. Source
  • Ukraine updates: 12 killed in Russian attacks in Severodonetsk

    World News CTV News
    What's happening in Ukraine today and how are countries around the world responding? Read live updates on Vladimir Putin and Russia's invasion of Ukraine. KYIV, Ukraine -- Russian forces attacked the cities of Lysychansk and Severodonetsk in Ukraine's eastern region of Luhansk, the region's governor said Friday. Source
  • As Biden visits Asia, China launches South China Sea drills

    World News CTV News
    BEIJING - China is holding military exercises in the disputed South China Sea coinciding with U.S. President Joe Biden's visits to South Korea and Japan that are largely focused on countering the perceived threat from Beijing. Source
  • Sri Lanka closes schools, limits work amid fuel shortage

    World News CTV News
    COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - Sri Lankan authorities closed schools and asked public officials not to come to work in a desperate move to prepare for an acute fuel shortage that is expected to last days amid the nation's worst economic crisis in decades. Source
  • Riding the waves off Nova Scotia, this surfer says she felt cancer-free

    Canada News CBC News
    It could be the most beautiful summer day in Nova Scotia or the harshest day of winter; if there are waves, Amber Spurrell will surf. Even while undergoing six rounds of chemotherapy. "Getting in the ocean allowed me not to have cancer for a few minutes and just be," says Spurrell, 42, who was diagnosed last year with breast cancer. Source
  • Canadian study offers important clue to why some back pain becomes chronic

    Canada News CBC News
    A study conducted by researchers at McGill University and scientists from Italy suggests that blocking inflammation after injury might make that pain chronic — a finding that challenges the standard approach to treating pain. Chronic pain — especially in the lower back — is a common ailment, but scientists don't know why some back injuries resolve themselves while others cause suffering for years. Source
  • With Kenney's exit, the 'resistance' era is over — but something louder might follow

    Canada News CBC News
    Late in 2018, Maclean's magazine put five Conservative leaders on its cover and billed them as "the resistance" — an apparent play on the name of the movement that had emerged to oppose Donald Trump in the United States. Source
  • This Ontario election is about many things. Indigenous issues aren't among them, observers say

    Canada News CBC News
    Over the last three weeks, Ontario election campaign leaders and candidates have addressed a range of issues — including affordability, housing and health care — and offered promises leading up to the vote next month. But there has yet to be substantive conversation about Indigenous people and issues, say several current and former political leaders and analysts who spoke with CBC News. Source
  • 'Great replacement' conspiracy unified white supremacists long before Buffalo, N.Y., shooting

    World News CBC News
    Whether it goes by the "great replacement" or another name, the conspiracy theory embraced by the accused Buffalo, N.Y., gunman has inspired several mass shootings in recent years — in Canada and around the world. Ten people died in the attack at Tops Friendly Market in a predominantly Black neighbourhood of Buffalo on Saturday. Source