Prison staff protest over after injunction threat dropped

A protest by prison staff over violence and safety concerns has been called off by their union after the Government agreed to drop the threat of court action.

Members of the POA, the trade union for prison staff, were told to return to work by 1pm following an agreement with prisons minister Rory Stewart.

General Secretary Steve Gillan said he was “confident a deal is a deal” after the prison service “backed down” over seeking an injunction against the walk-out.

The union will meet with the prison service on Monday, he said.

POA members were accused of “unlawful” action after they began demonstrating outside prisons in England and Wales from 7am over “unprecedented” levels of violence.

The action had knock-on effects on court cases, with some defendants in custody unable to be transported to hearings.

Mr Gillan told the Press Association: “I’m pleased with the outcome. Well, in actual fact I’m saddened we had to do it in the first place. But now we hope for meaningful, constructive dialogue commencing on Monday.”

Thousands of prison staff took part in the demonstrations, the POA said.

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