The Ontario government is getting prepared for an OPSEU (Ontario Public Service Employees Union) strike, which may start this Sunday if an agreement cannot be reached.
In the event of a strike, the over 6,000 unionized correctional, parole and probation officers will walk off the job, leaving all of their duties to managers and remaining staff at correctional institutions across the province. OPSEU President, Warren “Smokey” Thomas, has said that he is concerned about the potential risk to public safety in the event of a strike.
“I see this as a tragedy in waiting,” Thomas warns.
Thomas is making sure that the remaining members of correctional staff are completely safe in their workplaces, and is willing to withhold staff if it is deemed too unsafe. Thomas is trying to prevent the accidents that occurred during the 1996 and 2002 strikes, which lead to violence and riots within prisons. OPSEU has said jail guards should be declared an essential service, similar to police officers and firefighters.
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