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Jan 16,2008
Workers walk out at 2 Toronto jails
by UPI

TORONTO - Two Toronto jails have experienced worker walk-outs resulting from apparently unrelated complaints.

About 30 corrections officers walked off the job at Don Jail, claiming their complaints of racially motivated hate letters containing death threats have not been addressed by the Ontario Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services, the Toronto Star reported Wednesday.

Meanwhile, about 80 guards, maintenance and office staff left their posts Wednesday morning after a dispute regarding video cameras used by jail officials to monitor the workers.

The Don Jail officers said multiple black guards have been receiving phone calls and letters threatening death during the past three years that have crescendoed in the past month.

"I take the threats seriously. I turned the letter over to the police, but the police aren't doing enough," said Hayton Morrison, a union steward and jail guard who received one of the letters.

The Toronto West Detention Center dispute surrounds the use of video camera footage in allegations of wrongdoing at the jail, said Nick Mustari, acting president of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union local that represents the workers.

Mustari said management at the jail refused to allow video surveillance to be used as evidence in the case of a staff member who accused a supervisor of sexual assault.

© 2008 United Press International. All Rights Reserved.

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