Ban on prison officers `striking` made permanent

The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has won its High Court bid to obtain a permanent injunction against industrial action by prison officers.

Jul 19, 2017

The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has won its High Court bid to obtain a permanent injunction against industrial action by prison officers. Justice Secretary David Lidington claimed the Prison Officers’ Association (POA) breached the law when it urged its members to suspend voluntary duties in February in protest of health and safety conditions. This led to a judge granting an interim injunction requiring the POA to withdraw instructions to members to refuse to undertake certain voluntary tasks. The ruling in London on Wednesday (July 19) follows a hearing earlier this month when Daniel Stilitz QC told Mr Justice Jay that the case was brought “to ensure that POA does not seek to breach the law again”. Prison officers are banned from taking industrial action under the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994. Thousands of prison officers walked out in protest last November as negotiations with the Government over prison safety broke down. Another protest planned for March was suspended when the MoJ secured its temporary injunction. The POA maintains its call to withdraw from voluntary tasks does not constitute industrial action as its members still performed their contractual duties.

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