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Angry French prison guards block jails

 Penitentiary workers set up a blockade in front of the entrance of the Fresnes prison, south of Paris, Tuesday May 5, 2009. Penitentiary workers in F...
 Penitentiary workers, left, confronts riot police officers in front of the entrance of the Fresnes prison, south of Paris, Tuesday May 5, 2009. Penit...
 A penitentiary worker, left, confronts a riot police officer in front of the entrance of the Fresnes prison, south of Paris, Tuesday May 5, 2009. Pen...
 Penitentiary workers set up a blockade in front of the entrance of the Fresnes prison, south of Paris, Tuesday May 5, 2009. Penitentiary workers in F...
 Penitentiary workers set up a blockade in front of the entrance of the Fresnes prison, south of Paris, Tuesday May 5, 2009. Penitentiary workers in F...

FRANCE PRISONS

Penitentiary workers set up a blockade in front of the entrance of the Fresnes prison, south of Paris, Tuesday May 5, 2009. Penitentiary workers in F...

FRANCE PRISONS

Penitentiary workers, left, confronts riot police officers in front of the entrance of the Fresnes prison, south of Paris, Tuesday May 5, 2009. Penit...

APTOPIX FRANCE PRISONS

A penitentiary worker, left, confronts a riot police officer in front of the entrance of the Fresnes prison, south of Paris, Tuesday May 5, 2009. Pen...

FRANCE PRISONS

Penitentiary workers set up a blockade in front of the entrance of the Fresnes prison, south of Paris, Tuesday May 5, 2009. Penitentiary workers in F...

aptopix FRANCE PRISONS

Penitentiary workers set up a blockade in front of the entrance of the Fresnes prison, south of Paris, Tuesday May 5, 2009. Penitentiary workers in F...

French police fired tear gas Tuesday at angry jail guards seeking to block the transfer of prisoners to court in the capital as protests by penitentiary workers spread across the country.
Penitentiary workers in France are not allowed to strike. To express their anger at what they say are deteriorating work conditions, they have blocked exits from prisons, taken holiday or stayed off the job for a second day this week.
Protesting prison workers clashed with police who were trying to clear the exits at La Sante prison in Paris so that prisoners could be transported to courts for trial appearances. The demonstrators threw tires and crates into the streets. Police responded with tear gas.
A statement by the section of the CGT union that represents prison workers denounced the "violence" of the police and called for dialogue.
About two-thirds of France's 194 jails experienced labor action Monday, according to figures from labor unions. No figures were immediately available Tuesday.
Budget Minister Eric Woerth said that the budget for prisons had been increased in 2009, and there was "enough" money to satisfy the protesters' demands for more prison personnel. He said the number of prison workers would grow by 2,000 to 3,000 this year.
Eleven new jails have been built since 2007, seven of which are for minors, Labor Minister Brice Hortefeux told LCI television. However, unions say new jobs have gone to new prisons and that the problem lies with poor conditions in old jails, half of which date from before World War I.
Prison workers maintain that conditions are getting worse, especially in aging facilities. In 2008, 20 prison workers committed suicide.
Meanwhile, the number of prisoners is increasing. In April, 63,351 people were incarcerated in France, up 651 from March.


Updated : 2021-05-09 01:51 GMT+08:00