CBSA employees begin work-to-rule strike action

Strike will hit Canadian airports, land borders, commercial shipping ports and postal facilities

The Public Service Alliance of Canada and the Customs and Immigration Union announced that they served a strike notice to the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) on Tuesday.

The strike, which will mostly consist of work-to-rule action, began on Friday August 6 at Canadian airports, land borders, commercial shipping ports, postal facilities and headquarters locations.

In a notice to its members posted on it’s website the union says “Beginning August 6, there won’t be picket lines organized at worksites. That’s because work-to-rule action will have a far greater impact on Canada’s critical supply chain and the federal government’s plans to reopen the border to U.S. travelers on August 9.”

The union says that during work-to-rule strike action, CBSA employees will obey all of the policies, procedures and laws applying to their work, and perform their duties to ‘the letter of the law’. For instance, this may include asking every question in the official manual from travellers at ports of entry.

The Treasury Board, which is in charge of negotiations for the government, appointed a new negotiator and has requested a mediator. The Canadian government hoped to resume negotiations and avoid or delay strike action.

In a tweet Friday morning the union stated: “Our FB bargaining team has been at the table all night, and we’re giving them a bit more time to negotiate. In the meantime, work-to-rule actions have started across the country. We’ll provide an update as soon as possible.”

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