CBSA Employees to Rally at Detroit-Windsor Tunnel Amid Contract Talks

CBSA employees, represented by PSAC and CIU, will hold a rally at the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel on May 13 to support key bargaining demands. The union has been conducting strike votes involving over 9,000 employees, with a potential strike mandate possible if a deal is not reached.

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Bijay Laxmi
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CBSA Employees to Rally at Detroit-Windsor Tunnel Amid Contract Talks

CBSA Employees to Rally at Detroit-Windsor Tunnel Amid Contract Talks

On May 13, 2024, Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) members, plan, rally, front, tunnel represented by the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) and the Customs and Immigration Union (CIU) will hold a rally at the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel in support of their key bargaining demands. The rally comes after nearly two years of contentious negotiations between the union and CBSA over issues such as wages, job security, telework, and contracting out protections.

Why this matters: The potential labor disruption could have significant impacts on the Canadian economy and international trade, as the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel is a critical commercial border crossing. A resolution to the negotiations is crucial to maintaining the smooth flow of goods and people across the border.

The union is seeking wages for CBSA employees that are in line with other law enforcement agencies. They are also pushing for better job security, access to telework options, and stronger protections against the contracting out of their work. Negotiations reached an impasse last September when CBSA failed to make sufficient progress on addressing these concerns.

In April, the two sides participated in Public Interest Commission (PIC) hearings with the Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board in an attempt to break the deadlock. The PIC board is expected to provide a non-binding recommendation to help the parties reach an agreement in the coming weeks. Mediation sessions are also scheduled to begin on June 3.

However, the union has been conducting strike votes involving over 9,000 CBSA employees across the country since April 10. The strike votes will wrap up on Wednesday. If the union receives a strike mandate, they will be in a legal strike position seven days after receiving the PIC report, raising the possibility of job action if a deal is not reached.

The CBSA is responsible for border security, immigration enforcement, and customs services at Canada's ports of entry. A labor disruption could have significant impacts on travel, trade, and border operations at crossings like the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel, the busiest commercial border crossing between the U.S. and Canada. The union rally planned for May 13 aims to put pressure on CBSA to address employee concerns as negotiations enter a critical phase in the coming weeks.

Key Takeaways

  • CBSA union members to rally at Detroit-Windsor Tunnel on May 13.
  • Union demands include wage parity, job security, and telework options.
  • Negotiations have reached an impasse after nearly 2 years.
  • Strike votes involving 9,000 CBSA employees underway since April 10.
  • Labor disruption could impact Canadian economy and international trade.