The various aspects of this strike are analyzed in this paper. Relevant literature is used in order to explain the reasons for the development of the strike even if it was against the law. It is made clear that the strike has been morally justified but it was not appropriately organized, a fact that led to its opposition to the existing laws.
The Prison Officers Strike began in 29 August 2007 and ended the same day. It was just a 24 – hour walkout, which, however, led to severe operational problems in prisons across Britain. About 20,000 prison officers and auxiliary staff supported the strike (BBC News 2007). The High Court decided that the strike was ‘illegal and unjustified’ (BBC News 2007) and issued an order for the termination of the strike. In the context of this order, prison officers had to return immediately to work. Indeed, ‘the prison officers in ‘Bristol, Canterbury and Long Lartin returned to work in the afternoon’ (BBC News 2007) while in other areas the strike lasted all day. Measures had been taken so that health and safety for prisoners is not set in risk; for this reason, during the strike, i.e. all day, ‘prisoners were kept locked in their cells while senior managers took charge of duties such as distributing meals’ (BBC News 2007). It should be noted that in Britain prison officers, like police officers, are not allowed to proceed to strike (Moore 2007). The 24-hour walk-out of prison officers resulted to severe operational problems in prisons across England, as for example to the cancellation of court cases (Russell 2007); also, visitors were not allowed to enter the prisons (Russell 2007). The strike led even to legal action by prisoners.