Canadian Border Guard Votes on Strike Day Before Resuming U.S. Tourists

Vancouver — Canada’s border guards and customs officials resolved on Tuesday to strike fully vaccinated U.S. citizens and permanent residents a few days before they were allowed to enter Canada, representing workers. The union said. Pandemic-led recession.

The union said the strike would not only slow down commercial traffic at the border, but also affect international mail and tariffs and tax collection. However, a Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) spokesperson said 90% of front-line border service officers have been identified as “required” and will continue to work in the event of a strike.

Last week, Canada announced plans to allow Americans who were fully vaccinated on August 9th and international travelers who were fully vaccinated from September 7th.

The Canadian Civil Service Alliance (PSAC) and the Customs Immigration Union (CIU) said in a joint statement that the strike could begin on August 6, after 8,500 members voted in favor of the strike. The union said contract negotiations were stalled in December 2020.

Prior to the Pandemic, tourism was Canada’s fifth-largest industry, contributing C $ 105 billion ($ 83.4 billion) to GDP and providing 1 in 10 jobs, according to the Canadian Tourism Association. I did.

Corinne Paulman, senior vice president of national affairs for the Canadian Federation of Independent Enterprises, said the strike exacerbates the problems faced by SMEs throughout the pandemic. Slow transportation times, shortage of customers, rising costs, etc.

“It’s totally unpleasant for many small businesses that rely on either cross-border goods or cross-border people,” Paulman said of the timing of the strike “very disappointing.” ..

However, CIU President Mark Weber told Reuters that he was not planning the strike at the same time as the reopening of the U.S. border, noting that he had begun the strike vote “without even knowing when the border would open.” ..

Weber wants to be able to trade with the federal government without a strike. Their demands include higher wages, the ability to carry guns in areas like airports, and the ability to deal with “toxic” workplace problems, he said.

The federal government is “disappointed” by PSAC’s refusal to “fairly offer its members,” but “you can always return to the negotiating table,” a government spokesman said in an email.

CBSA spokesman Judith Gadbois-St-Cyr said police have proven resilience by preventing the spread of the virus and its variants since the outbreak of the pandemic.

“We expect executives to continue to perform their duties with the highest levels of integrity and professionalism.”

Moira Warburton