Canadian border workers set to take action this Friday

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — According to the Public Service Alliance of Canada, more than 9,000 Canadian workers could begin job action this Friday if a deal isn’t reached with the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA).

That doesn’t mean a typical strike is on the horizon, but workers could begin implementing work-to-rule practices instead, according to a CBC report.

“Per the Federal Public Sector Labour Relations Act, employees in essential services positions must provide uninterrupted border services,” the CBSA said. “They cannot intentionally slow down border processing.”

In this situation, borders would remain staffed, but workers could choose to meticulously interpret rules, which in turn could drastically slow down border crossings. When job action was taken in 2021, PSAC says it “nearly brought commercial cross-border traffic to a standstill” leading to delays at border crossings and airports.

Strike action ‘on hold’ as Canadian border agents continue negotiations

This past Friday, job action was in the plans until it was postponed for continued mediation talks through Wednesday.

Now, PSAC says that if no agreement is reached with the federal government, job action will begin June 14 at 12:01 a.m.

“We are still hopeful we can avoid a strike and potential disruptions at Canada’s borders,” PSAC National President Sharon DeSousa said.

PSAC says workers have been without a contract for more than two years.

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Evan Anstey is an Associated Press Award, JANY Award and Emmy-nominated digital producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2015. See more of his work here and follow him on Twitter.

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