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CBSA strike to begin Friday if no agreement reached: union

Canada Border Services Agency members will strike starting this Friday if no deal is reached, the union representing workers said on Monday.

A statement by the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) and the Customs and Immigration Union (CIU), which represents more than 9,000 CBSA workers, advised that if an agreement is not reached with the CBSA and Treasury Board, the job action would begin at 12:01 a.m. ET on June 14.

“We are still hopeful we can avoid a strike and potential disruptions at Canada’s borders,” said Sharon DeSousa, PSAC national president. “No worker wants a strike, but we’ve set a firm deadline for this government to come to the table with a fair agreement.”

The notice of action comes after it paused its original plan to begin at 4 p.m. on June 7 to allow for negotiations to continue until June 12.

A strike by CBSA workers would potentially impact border crossings across the country.

Last week, Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland said the federal government was “very focused” on how the looming strike would impact the economy.

“It is something our government is very seized with. Very focused on. The parties are at the table working hard and our view is, the best deals are reached at the table,” Freeland told reporters when asked how a border strike could impact Canada’s economy.

CBSA workers have been without a contract since the last one expired in June 2022. The union has been pushing for higher wages and retirement benefits, including early retirement after 25 years of service, that they argue should be aligned with other Canadian law enforcement agencies, including the RCMP and Correctional Services Canada.

They also want clear remote work rules and assurances that vacancies won’t be filled with contracted

Read more on globalnews.ca