A labour strike of over 8,500 Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) employees is expected to begin tomorrow, causing delays at Canadian land border crossings, airports, shipping ports, postal facilities, and CBSA offices.
The Public Service Alliance of Canada – Customs and Immigration Union (PSAC-CIU) announced that they voted in favour of strike action on July 26, 2021, following a breakdown in talks with the Canadian Government in December of 2020. This strike is planned to commence three days prior to August 9, when the Canadian border is scheduled to reopen the border to fully vaccinated U.S. citizens, without the need for a two-week quarantine period.
90% of CBSA employees are classified as essential and would perform work-to-rule action, performing only the minimum amount of work required by their contracts. It is expected that as a result of the work to rule action, there will be delays at the border, however, the border will remain open. The PSAC-CIU has stated that they hope to reach an agreement with the federal government today to avoid this potential strike.
Members of the PSAC-CIU and the Treasury Board have been without a contract for almost three years with remote work policies, salary parity with other Canadian law enforcement workers, and protections against harassment and discrimination are the central issues in the negotiations.
We will continue to monitor this situation and will provide updates as they are available to ensure that you are aware of this issue that could impact commercial traffic at borders.
Further reading: CBC News – Unions warn Canadians to expect disruptions at airports and border crossings starting Friday