Fritzl jail strike threat

Wardens at the Austrian jail housing cellar monster Josef Fritzl are threatening strike action claiming they are overworked and underpaid.

The 300 staff at Austria’s Krems-Stein jail which contains almost 900 seriously disturbed inmates say they have reached breaking point.

The prison’s staff council spokesman Harald Gerstl said: “Many of us simply cannot go on. Our staff shortage has gotten so severe that it has started threatening security.”

Gerstl said: “Workers are threatened by burnout. The permanent pressure to perform is far too strong.” He added that normal operation of the jail was on the verge of collapse.

Prison director Christian Timm admitted staff shortages but denied that the prison was heading for collapse.

Fritzl, 77, is the jail’s most notorious inmate. He was sentenced to life in 2009 after it emerged he had kept his daughter Elisabeth locked in a secret dungeon in the basement of his home for 24 years. He fathered seven children to her after years of systematic abuse and rape.