The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) has informed the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) that CBSA border officers will be in a legal strike position as early as next week, but the agency is reassuring industry they are ready to respond quickly should any work disruptions or increased border wait times occur.
As reported earlier by CTA, a vote to support a strike mandate began in June, with CBSA reaffirming their commitment to the secure and timely movement of goods into the country throughout the voting process.
CBSA released the following statement regarding the legal strike position taken today:
“Following the announcement made today, July 27, 2021, by the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC), on behalf of the Customs and Immigration Union (CIU), the Border Services Officers (FB) bargaining unit has voted in favour of a strike.
As early as the first week of August, CBSA Border Services Officers, represented by PSAC, will be in a legal strike position as a result of an impasse in negotiations between their union and the Government of Canada.
Ninety percent (90%) of Border Services Officers have been identified as essential, meaning that they will continue to offer essential services if there is a strike. We expect that our officers will fulfill their duties with the highest level of integrity and professionalism.
CBSA operations will carry on as planned as the Agency continues to ensure the safety and security of Canadians while maintaining the flow of goods and services across the border. However, travellers and businesses could experience an increase in border wait times, picketing outside CBSA premises, and wearing of union-related accessories. The CBSA has been actively working to plan for these situations and has developed mitigation strategies to ensure operations will continue.
The CBSA will respond quickly to any job action or work disruption in order to maintain the safety and security of our border, ensure compliance with our laws, and keep the border open to facilitate the flow of legitimate goods and travel.”
CBSA also stated that they will continue to work with stakeholders throughout this process including discussing potential impacts on operations as labour discussions continue to evolve.
CTA will update members as more information becomes available on this developing issue.