I was planning on covering the unveiling of Nelson Mandela’s statue in Parliament Square today but seeing as there was little evidence that the protestors were going to make a nuisance of themselves, there seemed little point, as I would be relegated to the periphery of the action, seeing as I hadn’t already staked a place.
There are a few Prisons near where I live so I had a quick journey out to a couple of them, firstly Broadmoor, which isn’t a prison as such, but is staffed by HMP Officers and there was no sign of any strike action there, so a quick flit to HMP Coldingley, which on the scale of things is very small, followed by a trip to Feltham YOI and Remand Centre, which is one of the bigger HMP sites in the area.
There are around 600 Prison Officer Association members employed there, over three shifts, when I arrived all of the early turn were outside the buildings, on strike some 200 plus spread out between the main entrance and the staff car park. A quick chat with the Branch Secretary of the POA a Mr Shaun Grant revealed that the Management were carrying out the duties of the Prison Officers and that would continue, unless the Nation Executive decided otherwise until 0630hrs tomorrow. It has to be said that they couldn’t chosen a nicer day for it, they won’t need to stand around braziers tonight, unlike the last Fire Brigade Strike.