Australian highsecurity prisoners strike for better pay
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. –