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Prison guards from the privately-run Mount Gambier Prison walked-off the job again today following management’s refusal to listen to its workers about legitimate security concerns.

From 2:00pm until 8:00pm, most of the 100-strong workforce stopped work, leaving behind only a skeleton crew to ensure the safety of the prisoners and the community.

Systemic understaffing has been ongoing at the prison for several years and workers have said they are not willing to continue compromising their safety and the safety of the wider community.

Workers have rejected the company’s offer of between 2.5 percent and 2.8 percent-per-annum on the basis it is effectively a pay cut. Australia’s consumer price index was sitting at three percent according to latest figures from the Bureau of Statistics.

United Workers Union Allied organiser Darren Roberts said correctional officers and support staff were resolved in their pursuit of a better agreement and a better workplace.

“These workers have a dangerous and important job and G4S is willing to skirt on safety and reasonable wage increases in order to boost its profits,” Roberts said.

“G4S is a London Stock Exchange-listed company which generated an after-tax profit of around $300 million dollars last year.

“They are profiting off the back of the worker and the taxpayer, the least they could do is listen to the concerns of its hard-working employees.

“For most members this is the first time they have been involved in industrial action, they are steadfast in ensuring that their collective voice will be heard and that they are treated with the dignity and respect they deserve.”

UWU members are likely to continue strike action until G4S returns to the negotiating table with a reasonable offer.


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