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May 03, 2024

The CBSA workers union is holding a nationwide strike vote

The Customs and Immigration Union and the Public Service Alliance of Canada, representing over 9,000 employees at Customs, have been holding a nationwide strike vote, starting on April 10 and ending on May 15.

The Unions’ bargaining team rejected offers put forward by representatives from Treasury Board and Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) during Public Interest Commission (PIC) hearings on April 22. The Unions had submitted their propositions on a hearing on April 10.

The two sides appear to be very far apart on several items. In the coming weeks, the PIC board will provide a non-binding recommendation to reach an agreement based on the hearings. While federal legislation provides for the PIC to issue its recommendation within 30 days of the last hearing, the chair may extend that timeline.

If the ongoing vote from union members ends up in favour of a walkout, the CBSA employees will be in a legal strike position seven days after the release of the PIC report.

As the overwhelming majority of CBSA employees are deemed essential workers, strike action would mostly be work-to-rule actions, and demonstrations, which are likely to cause customs clearance delays for merchandise and longer wait times for travelers.

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