Prisoner Labour Unions?

So it looks as though prisoners in BC are working toward forming the first labour unions for prison inmates!  The inmates at the Mountain Institution in Agassiz, BC are trying to start a union named the ConFederation and have already hired a lawyer and are working toward taking their idea to the Labour Board of Canada in order to form the first recognized labour union in a prison in North America.  The union would be an independent union because they did not think that other unions would be willing to accept them under their unique circumstances.  However, this effort has received support from other labour unions in Canada.  After prisoners were given the right to vote, they felt that they deserved other basic liberties as citizens of Canada.  Based on petitions that have been conducted at six prisons across Canada there is more than a 75% interest rate from the prison population in being a part of something like this.

It will be interesting to see how the public relations departments for the correction institutions as well as the Labour Board of Canada deal with this precedent-setting effort.  I think that it is important that they make every effort to fully explain the rationale for whatever decision they make to all Canadians as it is likely that there will be many questions surrounding the decision regardless of which way they rule on the matter.  This is also likely to be a topic that may come up if there is a prime minister election as it is a factor that may greatly affect the way that prisoners vote (since they have now been given the vote) as they represent a relatively large section of the population.

 

Here is a link to the original story in the National Post

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