Guards threaten to stop prison system with new strikes

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Prison guards are threatening to bring Portugal’s prisons to a halt with new strikes, after a stoppage at the offices registered 95% adherence, Frederico Morais, leader of the National Prison Guard Union (SNCGP), told Lusa today.

According to the trade unionist, the strike that ends today, and which began on February 13, has seen a 95% turnout. Frederico Morais lamented the lack of response from the parties to the demands of these professionals.

“Nobody deigned to talk to us during the strike, nobody deigned to ask questions, to try to solve any of the problems we were facing,” he said.

“What makes us think that, whoever wins, we’ll stay the same. Nobody cares about the prison guard corps,” he lamented.

According to Frederico Morais, despite this, the prison guard corps “will not stop”, highlighting the “thousands of trials and medical appointments postponed” by the strike that ends today.

“We’re going to give a very short space to whoever wins [the elections],” he said, regretting that in the last two years the problems of the class have not been resolved. “If they don’t solve anything,” he said, they will soon “go on strike again” and “it won’t just be a stagecoach strike”.

“It will be a total strike,” he said, adding that the guards will “bring the Portuguese prison system to a complete halt”.

The guards are demanding better salaries, which are currently just above the minimum monthly wage, as well as improved working conditions and updated pay.

According to Frederico Morais, the class was forgotten in the allocation of the mission allowance and the conditions for career development are worse than those of the PSP.

There are currently 3,885 prison guards in Portugal, he said.

Prison guards have also been part of the security forces’ protests over the last month, motivated above all by the allocation of a mission allowance to the PJ that left out not only prison guards, but also the PSP and GNR.

Moti Shabi
Moti Shabi
Moti Shabi

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