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Sinn Féin warn British Government over POA action

15 August, 2006

Sinn Féin Assembly member for Foyle Raymond McCartney today said that it is important that the British government do not once again allow the local Prison Officers Association (POA) to turn prisoners in jails here into pawns in their efforts to secure even bigger pay rises.

Mr McCartney said:

"The POA have today announced an intention to press ahead with industrial action in their bid to secure an even bigger pay rise from the British government. It is not the first time the POA have embarked upon such a course of action.

"In the past the POA where always keen to use prisoners and in particular political prisoners as pawns in their negotiations with the British government over terms and conditions. Many of us lived through the results of that approach.

"It is important that the British government do not allow this to happen again. Prisoners should not be allowed to be used by the POA in their efforts to extract more money from the British government. The British government also need to ensure that the current industrial unrest being orchestrated by the POA does not result in a further deterioration of already difficult prison conditions here." ENDS

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