Warders at New Prison in union row

2009-07-16 00:00

WARDERS at Pietermaritzburg’s New Prison will march to call for the dismissal of Police and Prison Civil Rights Union (Popcru) national leadership if Cosatu fails to resolve the deadlock between them and their union.

Their warning comes barely a week after the warders threatened the union with legal action.

On Tuesday, the warders said they are raising funds among themselves to take the union to court over its decision to sign an occupation-specific dispensation (OSD) agreement which it apparently was not mandated to sign and which was allegedly not in the best interest of the members.

The warders said that next week they will be sending Cosatu a memorundum of their complaints about Popcru, failing which they will march in Durban against the union. They have already applied for a date for the march and have received support from five other provinces that have Popcru members, they said.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, the warders said that by officially informing Cosatu they were observing protocol because the labour federation knows of their problems with Popcru.

They said after the shambolic way Popcru handled the OSD negotiations, they no longer respected it. “We are operating outside of Popcru now, even their representatives inside the prison have been given a vote of no confidence.”

The warders said they have established their own task team to deal with the issues relating to the OSD and with Popcru.

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