UNIONS have accused Tasmanian Greens leader Nick McKim and corrections Minister-that yesterday was below prison officers and replaced them with the police-behaving like John Howard and Peter Reith in beira-mar 1998.
Mr McKim yesterday defended his actions, accusing unions planning a blocking illegal "wild" prison Risdon Hobart for the ninth time in four years.
"It is unacceptable, and we are not running a prison so on my watch," he said. "Enough is enough. Unions need to understand that they cannot run prisons. The prison is performed by the prison management and, finally, for me as a Minister. "
Federal Greens leader Bob Brown defended his counterpart of the State. "Nick is a very competent Minister, treatment of a very difficult issue," said Senator Brown.
Mr McKim accused a head of Union of public sector senior planning a lock.
However, the Union of the public sector and Community leader involved Secretary Mat Johnston, denied.
Instead, Mr. Johnston has accused the Minister to provoke a great dispute in an action of "unprecedented, draconian" on par with the Howard Government in beira-mar 1998.
Prison officials, becoming for work at Risdon, main chain of State yesterday were stood down if they refused to guarantee to all its functions.
This followed a resolution by prison officers on Saturday they would force a lock, where prisoners remain in their cells, when a group of tactical response unit was removed from the maximum security prison.
The TRG Risdon had been to protect the prison staff since last September, when a major disruption led to prison six agents, several seriously injured.
Mr McKim said that a risk assessment had found the continued presence of TRG unjustified.
At least 26 agents prison were stood down without paying, while the police at least 10 and up to 16-told by a source for special operations-took its place.
The COMMUNIST PARTY believes that the dispute will increase and could spread to all prisons of the State as prison officers refuse to be transferred to do the work of those who was down.
"The Minister's action is very surprising, given their rhetoric around being a friend of person working in Tasmania," said Mr Johnston.
"What we saw here is the introduction of the police to fill the posts of people who are willing to do their jobs.
"The last people to do this in Australia was the Howard Government-Patrick Reith in dispute.
"Even Prime Minister Howard and (labour relations) Minister Reith police used in an industrial dispute existing-we've seen the Minister today is actually bringing in an industrial dispute through the use of police".
Mr Johnston, said a blockade the Union would not have occurred without a vote on the site yesterday morning and that Mr McKim had "hasty" industrial action.
Randolph Wierenga, President of the Police Association of Tasmania, said that the involvement of the police was regrettable, but they had the obligation to maintain order.
"Isn't an ideal situation and will impact the provision of service in other areas, Mr Wierenga said.
Liberals face State with the Union, with the corrections spokesman, Vanessa Goodwin accusing McKim Lord have a style of "dictator" and "hop ... the extreme action".
The dispute is before the Tasmanian Industrial Commission.