High-security prisoners have launched a strike against the Victorian government to listen to their demands and offer them better pay in return to the work they do.

The state opposition, on the other hand, is compelling the ruling party to bring the prisoners back to work forcefully. The strike has come following a new employment arrangement at the Barwon prison under which the prisoner will be paid $6.50 to $8.95 on a daily basis, which will also include their maintenance and gardening jobs.

After the commencement of the new deal, many prisoners have refused to work and called for a strike. They are protesting against the authorities and demanding better pay for the duties they do while they remain in jail.  The payment that the inmates receive in jail depends on the level of work they do as well as on the degree of responsibility they handle and the complexities involved. The skills and demand required in the task are also the parameters considered while the payment for the prisoners is decided.

Almost 450 prisoners have participated in the strike, demanding improved payment. “Barwon Prison has moved to new prisoner employment arrangements, which bring Barwon in line with other Victorian prisons,” Corrections Victoria spokesperson said. “This is the culmination of a lengthy process across the prison system. Some Barwon prisoners have refused to work, but this has been managed without incident.”

Corrections Victoria, according to The Daily Mail, showed concern for the prisoners and said that an inmate, if he remains working during his jail term, would be able to get a job when he gets released. Otherwise, it might be difficult for them to get a relevant job after their imprisonment period is over.

On the other hand, the opposition’s Corrections Spokesman Edward O’Donohue said that such an action by high-security prisoners was “unacceptable.” He said that the prisoners were serving jail for their sins and they are imprisoned not to put forth demands and protest but to “pay their debt to the community.”