Disgruntled B.C. prisoners looking to become unionized
Inmates at Mountain Institution in Agassiz are about to form the first prisoner labour union in Canada.
The group’s lawyer Natalie Dunbar stressed that the inmates are not trying to create another prisoners' rights group, such as those that exist in the United States, but instead want a body to address prisoners' labour union issues. The average daily pay for inmates, for instance, is something like $15 a day and workplace accidents are not uncommon.
The British movement, which has long attracted the ire of the Prison Service, is the brainchild of Ben Gunn, a prisoner serving a life sentence at Her Majesty’s Prison Shepton Mallet.
But what clout would such an organization really have? How, for instance, would prisoners withhold their labour? Who'd be inconvenienced if a prisoner went on strike? And isn’t the point of being in prison the fact that you don't have the same rights as a normal citizen?
Should a convicted criminal still be able to lobby for additional labour rights? Or have they lost option by being incarcetated? What are your thoughts?
By Gordon Powers, MSN Money