Home Travel Canada Border Opening In Jeopardy Due To Potential Border Service Union Strike

Canada Border Opening In Jeopardy Due To Potential Border Service Union Strike

by SharonKurheg

There have been some U.S. citizens who’ve waited over 16 months to be able to go to Canada again. Some have property there. Others are looking forward to visiting with friends or loved ones. Still, others just enjoy traveling to Banff, Toronto, Quebec, Vancouver or what have you.

Regardless of their reasons, August 9th is the day that U.S. citizens who are fully vaccinated against COVID can again visit our neighboring country to the north. Unfortunately, it might not be as easy of a process as one would hope.

In late July, the CBC reported that the two unions representing several thousand Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officers and customs officials announced that the majority of their members had approved a strike that would begin on Friday, August 6th.

The workers, represented by SBSA and the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC-CIU) include roughly 5,500 border services officers, 2,000 headquarters staff and other workers at Canada Post facilities and in inland enforcement jobs. They claim they’ve been working without a contract for three years, and still kept the border safe, even throughout COVID, and are in a legal right to strike position on Friday. That’s just 3 days before the border is scheduled to reopen.

According to a public interest commission report, the main issue is wages. The workers are also requesting better protection against on-the-job harassment and discrimination, a work-from-home policy for non-uniformed employees, giving time to practice with firearms, and a guarantee no officer will work alone.

Many border workers can be deemed essential, which means they wouldn’t be able to stop work. But those on duty could still slow their work. That could mean a vast slowdown at the road and airport borders, causing bottlenecks right when there will be an influx of visitors.

Union representatives and employers are at the bargaining table, hoping for an agreement.

“The government is clearly concerned about our strike mandate and the possibility of major disruptions at the border,” said Chris Aylward, PSAC national president, as per CTV-News.

“We’re going back to the table with an open mind, but we’ve been crystal clear that if they want to avoid a strike, they need to bring a new mandate to address major workplace issues.”

If an agreement can’t be reached, I hope those planning to cross the Canadian border in the coming days (or longer) bring their patience with them.

UPDATE:

They did strike, and then this happened.

Feature Photo: Panoramio / Wikimedia

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary

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