Thousands of Canadian border agents began a work-to-rule strike Friday, three days before the land crossing is due to reopen to Americans fully vaccinated against Covid-19, a union announced.
Inoculated US citizens and permanent residents will be allowed to enter Canada for non-essential travel from Monday without any quarantine requirements for the first time since March last year.
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“A work-to-rule strike is underway at border crossings and airports across the country,” the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) said in an email.
“Travelers and commercial carriers entering Canada can expect long lines and delays at border crossings and airports starting Friday, August 6, as 9,000 members of the Canada Border Services Agency go on strike across the country,” the union said earlier this week in a statement.
The strikers are complaining of a “toxic work environment at the agency” and demanding more robust protections against harassment and discrimination. They also want to negotiate a new collective bargaining agreement.
“We’re hoping we are close to an agreement,” PSAC spokesman Jeffrey Vallis told AFP.
Canada’s border agency is responsible for 117 land crossings and operates at 13 international airports.