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Jails crisis as 3000 guards plan strike.


PRISON officers will strike tomorrow if a last-ditch peace bid by MSPs fails.

All jails will be manned by the Army and police if the 3000 Scots warders walk out over changes to their working conditions.

Stirling MSP George Reid has called a meeting between MSPs and Prison Officers Association officials today to head off the threatened crisis.

The strike is illegal under Scots law, but a senior officer said: "If the talks fail, every officer will walk out."

Officers are furious that Scottish Prisons Service chief executive Tony Cameron wants to move them from an eight-hour day five days a week to a 12-hour day four days a week.

Some jobs would also be downgraded, cutting some officers' wages.

Our source said: "After a ballot, prison officers rejected Cameron's demands and we all understood that to mean a vote for a strike. We asked for the matter to go to arbitration and Cameron point blank refused."

Officers at Glenochil Jail called in Mr Reid, said POA assistant secretary Jim Dawson.

He added: "George Reid asked them to delay any action until we as a union had the opportunity to speak to interested MSPs tomorrow."
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Mar 14, 2001
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