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Inmates under lockdown due to illegal job action at new Remand Centre
Julia Parrish, CTV Edmonton
Published Friday, April 26, 2013 6:00PM MDT
Last Updated Friday, April 26, 2013 6:46PM MDT
Weeks after the first inmates were moved into the new Remand Centre, the facility has been placed under lockdown – after union members were removed from the property Friday afternoon.
Clarke McChesney, Local 3 Chair for the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees official told CTV News one man had been removed from the facility Friday, after he objected to working conditions inside the new facility.
“One gentleman voicing his concerns was escorted off the premises today, causing a huge backlash because he was the voice that they were hearing, and they didn’t like the way they were being told,” McChesney said.
AUPE members slated to work Friday evening refused to go inside, in a show of solidarity, while a number of staff from the previous shift was still inside.
An Alberta Justice spokesperson confirmed Friday evening that the inmates inside the centre are in lockdown, due to illegal job action taken by the union.
Dan Laville told CTV News staff working on the day shift were still on the clock for the time being – and plans were in place to deal with the fallout from the job action if needed.
“We do have contingency plans in place to deal with these kinds of situations, essentially the plans involve using managers and police resources as needed to man the centre,” Laville said in a phone interview.
“The building is not currently fully operational, based on the fact that we don’t have a full complement of officers doing their work,” McChesney said, adding the union believes plans may have to be made to move inmates to other locations.
As for the job action, the province said officials have attempted to contact union members, but the issue had not yet been resolved.
Dozens of guards stand outside the Remand Centre Friday, April 26, 2013, after union members were escorted off the premises.