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Wednesday,  June 12, 2024 10:49 AM 

Border agents continue talks in hopes of avoiding strike

  • Other
  •   06-10-2024  11:39 am
  •   Pax Global Media

Border agents continue talks in hopes of avoiding strike
Canada Border Services Agency. (CBSA)
Pax Global Media

A strike action for more than 9,000 Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) workers is on hold as mediator-assisted negotiations are underway with the government.

Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC), the union representing the workers, originally set a strike deadline of 4 p.m. EST on Friday (June 7), but it was extended until Wednesday (June 12).

“We’ve paused all strike action as talks continue to reach a fair contract for workers,” said Sharon DeSousa, PSAC’s national president. “Our members keep our borders moving, goods flowing and our families safe, and deserve a contract that delivers fair wages, equitable retirement and makes CBSA a better place to work.”

CBSA workers voted 96 per cent in favour of a strike action if a deal isn’t reached.

They’ve been in the mediation process since June 3.

While some 90 per cent of the workers represented by the union are considered essential and cannot walk off the job, they can participate in job action outside their working hours.

They could also apply what is called “work to rule,” when workers follow every one of their job’s rules and regulations to the letter, which can be quite disruptive.

Border officers could, for example, ask every person in every car all the questions allowed when crossing the border.

Many of the issues on the table here are similar to those other workers also demand: protections, wages, pensions and benefits.

The CBSA workers are also looking for wage parity with RCMP offers, who earn roughly 15 per cent more, and the implementation of the “25 and out” retirement provision.

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