Government and prison unions agree to create working group to tackle security issues

Both sides also to continue negotiating other labor issues

Prison workers hold up signs in memory of the cook killed in the Mas d'Enric prison
Prison workers hold up signs in memory of the cook killed in the Mas d'Enric prison / Gemma Sánchez Bonel
Catalan News

Catalan News | @catalannews | Barcelona

April 2, 2024 12:28 PM

The Catalan government and prison unions have agreed to create a working group to discuss safety issues encountered inside penitentiary centers. 

The development comes after prison workers have protested for weeks following the killing of a cook in the Mas d'Enric prison. Last week, the director of that prison was dismissed

Unions and the department of justice will also continue to negotiate labor issues, as agreed in the latest meetings. 

At Tuesday's meeting were the Secretary General of Justice, Jordi Martinoy, and representatives of the Secretary of Administration and Public Service, after the unions refused to meet with the Minister of Justice, Gemma Ubasart, or the Secretary of Penal Measures, Amand Calderó, whose resignations they are demanding.

The unions have called strikes for April 26 and May 11, coinciding with the start of the election campaign and on the day before on May 12's vote.

Unions consider the dismissal of the director of Mas d'Enric as equivalent to the sacrifice of a "pawn" to "protect more important figures," and they regret that the strategy "shows that the electoral objectives seem to have priority over the government's will to resolve the conflict."

However, unions also think the replacement of the prison director also indicates the scenario "could be changing."

The department of justice has also announced other changes in the wake of the killing, such as changes to protocols of CIRE, the public company where the cook worked.

There have also been changes in the Ponent and Lledoners prisons where inmates serving sentences for violent crimes are no longer allowed to work in the kitchen.