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Prison officers face strike ban; REVOLT.

The Government moved yesterday to ban prison officers from going on strike despite Labour backbench opposition.

MPs backed the reintroduction of the ban - by 481 votes to 46, majority 435. But the vote was forced by Labour rebels in the first significant revolt since Gordon Brown became Prime Minister.

One warned that the move could "sour" attempts to renegotiate a voluntary agreement with the Prison Officers' Association, which has branded the ban a "betrayal".

Labour home affairs select committee chairman Keith Vaz and Labour former Minister Kate Hoey were among those to vote against. Justice Secretary Jack Straw insisted the Government was right to take "reserve powers", which would come into force if agreement wasn't reached by May 8. The ban was repealed in 2005. Mr Straw said the devastation caused by a 12-hour wildcat strike last August left him with no alternative but to reintroduce the power.
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Jan 10, 2008
Words:148
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