July 20, 2024

Cape Verde prison security officers threaten strike over safety concerns

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Cape Verde prison security officers threaten strike over safety concerns

Cape Verde prison security officers threaten strike over safety concerns

Prison security officers in Cape Verde have today voiced concerns over safety conditions in the country’s prisons, citing staffing limitations and inadequacies, and have threatened a three-day strike from July 30th to August 1st if their demands are not met.

The decision came after a meeting this morning in Praia involving prison security officers, the Trade and Services Workers Union, and the Cape Verde Penitentiary Security Association.

They highlighted the challenge exacerbated by the withdrawal of 99 trainee agents awaiting formal appointment.

Benito de Paula Gomes, President of the Trade and Services Workers Union, explained that these agents underwent training last year and began their probationary period in January.

However, in June, they were informed they would no longer receive salaries, prompting concerns about their retention.

Claudio Tavares, President of the National Security Agents Association, echoed these worries, emphasizing the critical shortage of agents during prisoner transfers from national prisons to courts.

He recounted an incident where only two agents were available to transport seven detainees to the Assomada court.

“The situation is truly dire and prolonged. As of now, we cannot overlook it. If our demands are not met by the 15th of this month, we will strike for three days starting July 30th,” warned Tavares.

He stressed that goodwill from the Ministry of Justice alone is insufficient to resolve longstanding issues.

Tavares specified that prison guards have been awaiting resolution of their grievances for a year, including demands for promotions and the provision of identity cards and uniforms.

He emphasized the security risks faced by prison guards in carrying out their duties.

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