CBC News has learned of a violent assault at the Calgary Remand Centre that happened after guards joined strike action taking place across Alberta over the weekend.

Calgary police were called in to investigate after an inmate was attacked with gym weights around 10 p.m. MT Sunday.

Police say it is not known how many people were involved in the fight. The victim was taken to hospital with serious, life-threatening injuries, but has since improved.

Calgary police spokesperson Kevin Brookwell said investigators have already spoken with the victim, but charges have not been laid.

"Right now it's kind of early in the investigation," he said. "We're not sure who all the players are, so we're just kind of moving forward slowly."

Brookwell was not able to confirm who was in charge of the remand centre at the time of the fight, as RCMP officers and managers were brought in when guards refused to report for duty.

Deputy Solicitor General Tim Grant said he doesn't believe the strike had anything to do with the assault.

"There are regular occurences of bad behaviour in all of the institutions, so I would say no this is not directly attributed to whether it was RCMP on that floor or if it was corrections officers on that floor," he said.

Strike costing $1.2M a day

The Calgary Remand Centre is just one of 10 institutions that has been affected by the strike since Friday.

The province filed a contempt of court application after the guards refused to obey a back-to-work order issued by the labour board on the weekend.

Striking guards were joined by sheriffs, court clerks and other court workers who walked off the job in Calgary and Edmonton Monday.

Deputy Premier Thomas Lukaszuk, who chairs the committee that oversees public service employee relations, said the strike is irresponsible. Officials say it is costing taxpayers $1.2 million a day to bring in RCMP and city police officers to provide security.

Lukaszuk blames the walkout on a guard at the Edmonton Remand Centre, who didn't get along with his superiors.

"This is simply unacceptable to cause not only this much of disruption of services, but also to cause taxpayers of Alberta this much cost by way ... of bringing in contingency services and proper damage simply because someone did not like their boss," he said.

The guard at the centre of the strike tells CBC News that he was suspended for raising concerns about safety in the new Edmonton Remand Centre.