Monday, June 24, 2024

Canada Border Services workers push potential strike back to midnight deadline this Friday


Over 9,000 workers with the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) have had their union push back an important deadline that may decide whether or not a strike ensues. 

Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC), the union representing these workers say that the new deadline for their demands to be met will be this Friday, June 14th at 12 a.m. ET. 

According to the union, the strike was postponed last Friday, June 7th after mediation talks were extended as a gesture of good will that an agreement will be made. 

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

“No worker wants a strike, but we’ve set a firm deadline for this government to come to the table with a fair agreement.”

The CBSA workers represented by PSAC have been without contracts for two years now. These employees include border services officers at airports, land entry points, marine ports, and commercial ports of entry. 

In addition to the border services officers, the union is advocating for inland enforcement officers, intelligence officers, investigators, trade officers as well as more than 2,000 non-uniformed headquarters staff.


The strike being threatened could potentially impact Victoria and all of Canada, as last job action taken by CBSA workers wound up essentially shutting down the border for 36 hours as an agreement was negotiated, according to PSAC. 

The Greater Victoria Harbour Authority who handle the coming and going of numerous cruise ships per week said they are closely monitoring the situation and how it could affect the city. 

Recently a survey showed that 96% of the union members were ready to fight for equitable retirement, fair wages and to make CBSA a better place to work. 

PSAC says the two sides remain in negotiations this week with the assistance of a mediator. 

CBSA’s position

A CBSA spokesperson, Luke Reimer told Victoria Buzz that the border will remain open and safe, despite the looming strike. 

“Ninety per cent of all frontline border services officers are essential workers,” Reimer explained. “This means that they will continue to staff ports of entry in the event of a strike.” 

Reimer also says that PSAC members who are a part of a certain Facebook group regarding the strike are actually not in a position to initiate a job action. 

“They are expected to work their normally scheduled shift, including during any planned demonstrations,” he said.  

“At the same time, any labour action that blocks or intentionally slows the free flow of people or goods at our borders would be illegal.”

Curtis Blandy

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