Lethbridge: Over thirty Lethbridge jail guards walked off the job, Friday The staff exited at about 5 PM, protesting unsafe conditions at the new Edmonton Remand Centre.
UPDATE: Workers at seven jails in cities across the province participated in the wildcat walkouts, after two workers were suspended for complaining about safety issues at the Edmonton facility.
"We have been discussing with the Solicitor General, these issue, for months. And raised concerns prior to the Remand Centre opening, hoping to have the transfer of the prisoners delayed until these concerns were addressed. The transfer did go ahead." said Alberta Union of Provincial Employees Vice-President, Susan Slade, who protested with staff at the Lethbridge Correctional Centre.
Minister of Justice and Solicitor General, Jonathan Denis says their first priority is ensuring the public's safety. Striking staff have been replaced by RCMP and police officers. Denis has called the protest illegal job action. He says the province is seeking a court injunction to force the workers back to their jobs
Slade says jail guards will protest as long as necessary with support of the A-U-P-E.
UPDATE: By Saturday afternoon, the Labour Relations board had ordered corrections staff back to work and told the Alberta Union of Public Employees that it was "the union's turn to step up".
In regards to the workers at the Lethbridge Correctional Institute, AUPE President, Glen Scott said, "They're a little taken back. I mean they're concerned that they're being served
these legal documents, but we've explained to them, we're very honest with them
that they've been ordered back to work. I'm not obviously
telling them what to do, but at this point they don't want to go back to work
until (those) issues have been addressed."