Prisoners in seven Texas prisons have refused to report for work details, citing "slave-like" conditions.

A five-page letter was released to announce the start of the strike this week, comparing Texas prisoners to modern slave labor,

Texas’s prisoners are the slaves of today, and that slavery affects our society economically, morally, and politically. Beginning on April 4, 2016, all inmates around Texas will stop all labor in order to get the attention from politicians and Texas’s community alike.

It was confirmed on Thursday that seven Texas prisons were under lock-down conditions due to the prisoners refusing to leave their cells as part of the strike.  Among the cited reasons for the strike are poor working conditions, overcrowding, no access to quality food and water, and low wages.  Supporters of the strike have noted that prisoners are paid nothing, or nearly nothing, for the work they provide under Texas Corrections Industries, including making bed sheets, soap, iron toilets, and portable buildings.  While Texas isn't required to pay inmates for their work, Jim Del Ducca of the Incarcerated Worker’s Organizing Committee stated that there is profit being made by private corporations from the work of the prisoners,

People are making a profit off the inmates. Yes, the taxpayers do, ostensibly, fund prisons, but the fact of the matter is that private corporations use prison labor to manufacture goods, which then make profits. And these profits don’t go back to prisoners, they don’t go back to the prison system to lower the burden on the taxpayers.

Del Ducca also spoke against the idea that prisoners do not need money, saying that prisoners can be financially responsible for some medical expenses and prisoners are also charged for phone calls.  Texas Department of Criminal Justice Spokesperson Robert Hurst issued a statement that his department is aware of the situation and it is being closely monitored.

See the complete letter on the strike HERE.

via Corrections One