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Repeal Section 127 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 and give Prison Officers the right to take industrial action

Comment 15th July 2010

This law took away the right of prison officers to take industrial action in defence of their jobs,which is a right available to almost every person in democratic countries throughout the world. Furthermore, it made any form of industrial action punishable by the criminal law. Everyone should have the right to withdraw their labour withour fear of retribution from the courts.

Why does this matter?

Prison Officers have been singled out for special treatment,which makes them criminals if they either take or incite others to industrial action. This cannot be right in any democratic country. The government is using this as a powerful weapon against prison officers because they have no right to fight against any unfair treatment meted out to them by the government of the day. Their pay and conditions of service are being eroded on a daily basis and.

The so-called 'independent' pay review body that was supposed to have been put in place to determine pay in compensation for the loss of a right to take industrial action has proven to be nothing short of a complete sham, as there is no obligation to agree the recommendations of the pay review body, and the government dictates their terms of reference.

Treat prison officers fairly and either repeal section 127 or give them a truly independent pay review body, which is free from interference by government and whose recommendations are legally binding.

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