Name badges put workers at risk say union

The Prison
Service is resisting pressure from hundreds of prison electricians who are
threatening to strike over a name badge rule, which they claim threatens their
personal safety.

The 600
electricians from the AEEU say they will ballot for industrial action if any
member is disciplined for refusing to wear a name badge.

Under
regulations introduced in July, all non-uniformed prison staff must wear the
ID, and the service is adamant that any employees not complying will face
disciplinary proceedings. It hopes the policy will make staff readily
accountable and enhance the service’s transparency and public accountability.

But the
AEEU fears it could leave its members and their families open to intimidation.
Aside from maintenance and engineering work, prison electricians also have the
power to search prisoners and sometimes supervise activities.

The union
claims that if their members go on strike the prison service could “grind to a
halt”.

AEEU
national officer Paul Reuter said, “No one likes confrontation but our members
are being threatened by intimidation. Name badges pose a real threat to their
safety and prison officers are exempt from the rule – so why can’t our members
be?”

A prison
office spokesman said, “The Prison Service has no intention of compromising the
personal security of its staff.”

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