Prisons across Flanders carry out week of strikes against increasing aggression

Unions dissatisfied with increased aggression against prison staff will start a week of strikes in Flemish prisons on Sunday evening.

Prisons in Ghent and Oudenaarde will start the chain of protests by striking from 22.00 on Sunday until 22.00 on Monday. They will be followed by 24-hour strikes on Monday evening in Merksplas and Turnhout and Tuesday in Antwerp.

Employees in Bruges will stop work from 22.00 on Wednesday until 22.00 on Thursday. Finally, there will be a strike in Hasselt on Thursday evening and Friday.

A meeting took place between the unions, the prison system and the cabinet of Justice minister Paul Van Tigchelt of Flemish liberal party Open VLD on Thursday, but no agreements were reached. Talks will continue in the week of February 12.

According to Robby De Kaey of ACOD Government Services, the aggression problem can be traced back to the overcrowding of prisons and inmates who end up in mainstream prisons due to a lack of space in healthcare institutions.


#FlandersNewsService | Nieuwewandeling state prison in in Ghent © BELGA PHOTO NICOLAS MAETERLINCK

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