Border Workers Start Job Action as Contract Negotiations Continue: Union

By The Canadian Press
The Canadian Press
The Canadian Press
August 6, 2021 Updated: August 6, 2021

The union representing 9,000 Canada Border Services Agency workers says some job actions began Friday as bargaining with the government continued.

“Our bargaining team representing CBSA employees has been in mediation with CBSA and Treasury all night and through to this morning, and we’re giving them a bit more time to negotiate at the table,” the Public Service Alliance of Canada and its Customs and Immigration Union said in a Friday morning statement.

“In the meantime, work-to-rule actions are underway at border crossings and airports across the country.”

It didn’t immediately specify what that entails.

The union said it had been bargaining with the government since 2018 and it served a strike notice on Tuesday.

The dispute comes as Canada is preparing to allow fully vaccinated Americans to visit without having to quarantine starting Aug. 9.

Borders will open to travellers from other countries with the required doses of a COVID-19 shot on Sept. 7.

Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat confirmed mediation continued through Thursday night.

“The Government is still at the table and will not walk away,” it said in a Friday statement.

Ninety percent of front-line border workers have been identified as essential so they will continue to offer services if there is a strike, the CBSA says.

The union had said members would begin a “sweeping” series of actions at Canadian airports, land borders, commercial shipping ports, postal facilities and headquarters locations if a contract hadn’t been reached by early this morning

The Treasury Board of Canada said a mediator was appointed by the federal relations body and mediations had been ongoing since Wednesday evening.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau weighed in on the issue Thursday, touting the government’s record on resolving labour negotiations.

The Canadian Press
The Canadian Press