May 17, 2021

Unions sue Penitentiary Institutions for denying permission to vote on M4 to morning shift workers


Labor conflict in prisons regarding the Madrid elections. Penitentiary Institutions have denied paid permission to vote on the 4M to workers with a day only in the morning, according to denials to which elDiario.es has had access. In the public body they justify this criterion by the fact that employees who leave at 3:00 pm “can vote in the afternoon” and point out that people with split work hours have been granted permission to vote. Regulations on paid leave It does not exclude personnel who have only morning hours, but rather it is recognized if the working person’s schedule coincides in several hours with the opening of the polling stations, something that happens in this case. The unions CCOO and ACAIP-UGT have announced lawsuits against the public institution for what they consider a violation of the fundamental rights of the workforce.


Guide for workers to the Madrid 4M elections: the rights to vote on working days

Guide for workers to the Madrid 4M elections: the rights to vote on working days

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Penitentiary Institutions defends its decision to this medium. Sources of the public body argue the denial of permission to vote during the day to these workers tomorrow based on the criteria of the Government Delegation in Madrid in a 2016 letter. It points out that “the Administration, like any employer, must facilitate its employees the exercise of the right to vote, when the working day makes it difficult “. From Prisons they indicate that, leaving work at 3:00 p.m., these people can exercise their right to vote during the afternoon and they consider that there are no difficulties in exercising this right.

In the body, dependent on the Ministry of the Interior, they add that they also support their refusal in a 2011 sentence of the Superior Court of Justice of Madrid. This refers to a worker who asked to recover the four-hour leave that had not been recognized on election day. The magistrates denied his request and pointed out that “there is no point in providing hours within working hours, if there are free hours on that same day, since that is not the spirit and purpose of the aforementioned rule.”

Finally, Penitentiary Institutions mentions a resolution of the Central Electoral Board of this same May 4, to which this media has had access, which rejects the request for paid permission to vote from the association of prison workers’ Your abandonment kills me ‘. In it, the Electoral Board files the petition “since from the documentation provided it is inferred that the personnel of the affected Penitentiary Institutions can exercise their right to vote for a period of five hours, being outside the competence of the Central Electoral Board any other controversy of a labor nature “.

Government delegation supports the right to paid leave

The unions CCOO and ACAIP-UGT categorically reject the denials of paid leave to this group of workers of tomorrow. Both unions announce to elDiario.es that their legal teams are finalizing the lawsuits against Penitentiary Institutions to present them “imminently” and they hope that justice will sanction this procedure of the institution. “It is amazing. An Administration must ensure the fundamental rights of its workers, set an example for private companies, and the opposite happens,” says Silvia Fernández, Secretary General of CCOO in Penitentiary Institutions.

Both the CCOO union and ACAIP-UGT have resolutions from the Government Delegation these days – which this media has been able to consult – which endorse the right of workers to paid leave to vote during working hours. The representatives of the staff emphasize that it is the criterion of the current Government Delegation, not a past one, like the one of 2016 that Prisons mentions. They also show a response from the Provincial Electoral Board of Madrid that endorses the granting of the permit, on May 2.

The regulation on paid leave recognizes several free hours to go to vote during the working day in cases in which the working hours of the affected person “coincide in two or more hours” with the opening of the polling stations. Since the polling stations open at 9 in the morning, the unions warn that these morning Prison employees have the right to this measure.

In one of the resolutions of the Government Delegation in favor of the unions, the penitentiary in question and the workers are urged “to agree on the labor band in which they can exercise this right, so as not to neglect the basic needs of the service.” In another document, dated May 4 itself, the Secretary General for Human Resources of the Government Delegation in Madrid recalls the regulations on paid leave and informs of the legal right of workers “to exercise their right to vote, in accordance with the regulations developed previously, without neglecting the minimum needs of each service “. For this, it corresponds “to adopt the opportune concrete measures to those responsible for Penitentiary Institutions”.

Unions ask to purge responsibilities

“We do not understand the decision of Penitentiary Institutions. The rule is clear, if the working hours coincide with the opening of schools, as it happens, there is the right to leave. There is no possible interpretation. It seems to us that there may be administrative prevarication because the regulations are clear and there is a decision against the legislation in this regard “, responds Joaquín Leyva, spokesman for ACAIP-UGT.

In CCOO they also warn that the prisons are removed from the urban centers and there are workers who can do, for example, “an hour” from their workplace to their home. “They would have two hours left to vote, because the last one is for infected people and you have to see the circumstances of each person,” says Silvia Fernández.

Both unions hope that justice will soon resolve these refusals by the public body regarding a fundamental right such as voting. “We believe that responsibilities should be purged. The deputy director general of Human Resources of Penitentiary Institutions, who has denied these permits, should resign,” adds Fernández.

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