Photo credit: PSAC
More than 8,500 unionized staff with the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) have given their union an overwhelming strike mandate, throwing into question the federal government’s plans for a smooth reopening of the Canada-U.S. border this summer as a federal election looms. CBSA employees could potentially begin strike action as soon as August 6, 2021.
The employees — members of the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) and the Customs and Immigration Union (CIU) — have been without a contract for over three years. They are seeking better protections against workplace culture at CBSA, and greater parity with other law enforcement agencies across Canada. The union declared impasse and applied for a Public Interest Commission ruling.
A labour dispute while borders begin to reopen could cause a significant disruption to the flow of goods, services and people entering Canada.
PSAC-CIU members at CBSA include border service officers at airports, land entry points, marine ports, and commercial ports of entry, inland enforcement officers, intelligence officers, investigators, trade officers, hearings officers and non-uniformed members. The strike vote was held between June 16 and July 23.