June 20th, 2024

Union representing Canadian border agents moves strike deadline to Friday at midnight

By The Canadian Press on June 10, 2024.

The union representing more than 9,000 Canada Border Services Agency employees says workers are set to strike on Friday if a deal is not reached with the federal government by then. CBSA officers investigate a vehicle crossing at the Niagara Falls International Rainbow Bridge in Niagara Falls, Ontario Friday, June 7, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Aaron Lynett

OTTAWA – The union representing more than 9,000 Canada Border Services Agency employees says workers are set to strike on Friday if a deal is not reached with the federal government by then.

The Public Service Alliance of Canada says it has moved its strike deadline to Friday at midnight after extending negotiations with the Treasury Board last week.

Border workers were set to strike as early as 4 p.m. last Friday, but shortly after that deadline, a spokesperson for the union said negotiations would continue.

PSAC’s national president Sharon DeSousa says the union is “still hopeful” a strike can be avoided but that it has set a firm deadline for the government to come to the table with a “fair agreement.”

The union has warned that similar job action three years ago nearly brought commercial border traffic to a standstill and caused major delays across the country.

The government says 90 per cent of front-line border officers are designated as essential, which means they can’t stop working during a strike, but union members can work-to-rule and experts say that could cause serious slowdowns.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 10, 2024.

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