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Canada Border Agents End Partial Strike After Labor Deal

August 7, 2021, 12:00 pm
Canada Border Agents End Partial Strike After Labor Deal
OTTAWA—Canada’s border agents ended a nearly daylong partial strike Friday after their union and the Canadian government struck a new labor deal, removing a potential roadblock for Americans, who can begin visiting their northern neighbor Monday for the first time in 16 months. The Public Service Alliance of Canada, which negotiates on behalf of about 9,000 employees at the Canada Border Services Agency, said it clinched a four-year agreement after more than 36 hours of mediator-supervised talks. A mediator was brought in midweek to help resolve differences, which the union said focused on working conditions and compensation. Government and union negotiators failed to reach a deal before a 6 a.m. ET Friday deadline, and that prompted unionized customs and immigrations officers to slow down the processing of trucks and travelers, and refrain from activity that isn’t required under the job description. The move caused long delays for shippers and travelers trying to cross the land border into Canada. “We are relieved that CBSA and the government finally stepped up to address the most important issues for our members to avoid a prolonged labor dispute,” said Chris Aylward, national president of the Public Service Alliance. He added the work-to-rule campaign would cease immediately. The Canadian government said the tentative four-year agreement provides pay increases of 2%-plus in the first two years, along with other enhanced benefits, such as extended parental leave. Border agents have been without a contract for over three years.
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