Aus­tralian high­se­cu­rity prison­ers strike for bet­ter pay

The Myanmar Times - - World -

IN­MATES at an Aus­tralian jail hous­ing mur­der­ers and drug deal­ers have gone on strike de­mand­ing bet­ter pay, claim­ing their wages are not enough to cover liv­ing costs in the top-se­cu­rity prison.

Dozens of con­victs have downed tools and are re­fus­ing to work, claim­ing the lack of in­fla­tion-in­dexed pay is dis­re­spect­ful.

In­mates at Bar­won prison must work as part of their sen­tence and are cur­rently paid be­tween A$6.50 and A$8.95 (US$4.95-$6.82) a day, de­pend­ing on what they do. But they want more.

“The wages paid are a lot less than in other states in Aus­tralia and it doesn’t meet their in­creas­ing costs,” said Brett Collins, a spokesper­son for pris­oner ad­vo­cate group Jus­tice Ac­tion.

The govern­ment-run Corrections Vic­to­ria said all prison­ers were re­quired to per­form tasks in­clud­ing gar­den­ing and main­te­nance and those who re­fused had been con­fined to their cells.

Bar­won, which houses al­most 450 in­mates and lies 75 kilo­me­tres (46 miles) south­west of Mel­bourne, is home to some of Vic­to­ria’s most dan­ger­ous crim­i­nals, in­clud­ing mur­der­ers and drug deal­ers. –

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