Canadian borderCanadian border (Hermes Rivera / Unsplash)

More than 9,000 members of the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) and the Customs and Immigration Union (CIU) are poised to initiate job action across Canada starting June 14 at 12:01 a.m. ET, if a new agreement is not reached with the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and the Treasury Board.

Mediation talks, which were extended last Friday, June 7, have temporarily postponed the planned strike.

“We remain optimistic that a strike can be avoided and potential disruptions at Canada’s borders averted,” stated Sharon DeSousa, PSAC National President. “No worker wants a strike, but we’ve set a firm deadline for the government to come to the table with a fair agreement.”

The CBSA workers, represented by PSAC-CIU, have been without a contract for over two years. The union members include border services officers at airports, land entry points, marine ports, and commercial ports of entry, as well as inland enforcement officers, intelligence officers, investigators, trade officers, and over 2,000 non-uniformed headquarters staff.

A similar job action in 2021 by CBSA personnel nearly brought commercial cross-border traffic to a halt, causing significant delays at airports and borders nationwide, and led to a marathon 36-hour bargaining session to reach an agreement.

“Our members have overwhelmingly indicated they are prepared to fight for equitable retirement benefits, fair wages, and improved working conditions at CBSA,” said Mark Weber, CIU National President. “It is now imperative for the government to deliver a fair contract for CBSA employees.”

Negotiations are continuing this week with the assistance of a mediator.