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Canadian border agents on "work-to-rule" strike just days before partial re-opening

Mike Russell
creative commons
The Maroun family owns the Ambassador Bridge and have been vigorously fighting the construction of a second bridge over the Detroit River. Matthew Maroun testified against a new bridge today.

Canadian border patrol agents have gone on a so-called “work to rule” strike, just days before the U.S.-Canada border is scheduled to re-open to fully vaccinated American travelers.

The Public Service Alliance of Canada, the union representing roughly 9,000 Canada Border Services Agency employees, said people have worked for more than three years without a contract. Negotiations with the Canadian government are ongoing.

The union says it’s seeking better protections against what it calls a “toxic workplace culture,” and pay parity with other Canadian law enforcement agencies.

The work-to-rule strike means agents will perform their duties strictly to the letter of the law. They warned that would lead to delays at border crossings, and it did. Commercial truck traffic started backing up early Friday at border crossings in Detroit, Port Huron, and elsewhere.

The U.S.-Canada border is supposed to re-open to non-commercial traffic for fully vaccinated Americans on Monday.

Sarah Cwiek joined Michigan Radio in October 2009. As our Detroit reporter, she is helping us expand our coverage of the economy, politics, and culture in and around the city of Detroit.
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