Canada's Border Officials Have Voted To Go On Strike & It Could Impact Reopening Plans

Thousands of employees could strike as fully vaccinated Americans begin to travel to Canada.👇

Canada's Border Officials Have Voted To Go On Strike & It Could Impact Reopening Plans
Senior Editor

Canada's plan to reopen its border to fully vaccinated American travellers on August 9 could be impacted by strike action, which may begin just days before.

On Tuesday, July 27, a union representing over 8,500 Canada Border Service Agency (CBSA) employees told Narcity that its members had voted in favour of strike action.

CBSA staff members could potentially begin striking as early as August 6, three days before the Canadian border is set to reopen to eligible American travellers for non-essential reasons.

The Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) and its Customs and Immigration Union (CIU) says that this "[throws] into question the federal government's plans for a smooth reopening of the Canada-U.S. border this summer as a federal election looms."

It warns that the ongoing labour dispute could cause significant disruption to the "flow of goods, services and people entering Canada," impacting the Canadian economy.

The strike vote was held between June 16 and July 23, after members had been without a contract for over three years. The union says they are "seeking better protections against a toxic workplace culture at CBSA, and greater parity with other law enforcement agencies across Canada."

"The toxic workplace culture at CBSA is taking a heavy toll on the mental health and well-being of our members," said Mark Weber, CIU's national president.

The union represents border service officials from airports, land entry points, marine ports and commercial ports of entry, as well as inland enforcement officers, intelligence officers, investigators, trade officers and non-uniformed members.

This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

Helena Hanson
Senior Editor
Helena Hanson is a Senior Editor for Narcity Media, leading the Travel and Money teams. She previously lived in Ottawa, but is now based in the U.K.