Labour Strike – Impact to Canadian Federal Services [Updates]
Trade Update • April 25, 2023 T
he Government of Canada and the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) have failed to reach an agreement, which includes Canada Revenue Agency (a separate employer) and the Union of Taxation Employees (PSAC-UTE). As a result the PSAC is officially on strike as of Wednesday, April 19th, 2023, which includes collectively more than 155,000 employees that provide a range of services for the public.
The strike stands to affect many federal services; Departments and Agencies have identified the essential services that will continue to be delivered during a labour disruption, and those that may be disrupted. At this time, it is expected that CBSA services to travellers and businesses will be maintained, however they are preparing for WORK TO RULE, as a result, importers/exporters and customs brokers should expect potential delays.
Other government departments such as CFIA, Transport Canada, Global Affairs, etc. are advising minimal disruption of services during the strike, though there is still potential for delays.
GHY’s Action to Mitigate Effects of the Strike [Updated]
While we continue to monitor closely the effects of the strike, outlined below are actions we’ve taken to mitigate disruption to business and what continues to function without issue.
- Business Number applications are not being actioned and the CRA is not able to action any requests for import account activations or verifications. GHY has implemented a failover processes to continue to facilitate timely setup of accounts.
- CBSA is not sending any correspondence via mail, GHY is continuing to monitor if and when there will be resolution to this.
- Operationally, GHY is continuing to process all shipment releases in a timely manner without issue.
We are aware that post-entry processes are being impacted and anything requiring clerical processing is being delayed. This includes A48 processing, voluntary entries, RMD correctors, and re-manifesting. In some cases, there could be the potential for late accounting penalties and AMPS.
Canadian Society of Customs Brokers (CSCB)
CSCB has engaged the CBSA to confirm that waivers on penalties and AMPS will not be issued when the penalties and/or amps are as a result of the strike, and to clarify, if penalties are issued what would CBSA require to seek relief.
Border Services Postpones Negotiations [Updated]
The bargaining group representing workers at Canada’s borders says it’s postponing its negotiations with the federal government, scheduled for later this week [April 25 to April 27, 2023], in order to show support for public servants who are on strike across the country.
The Public Service Alliance of Canada’s (PSAC) FB bargaining team is an occupational group made up of more than 8,600 employees of the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) who work in the inspection and control of people and goods entering Canada. Their collective agreement expired in June 2022.
PSAC members in the border services bargaining unit are not taking part in the ongoing strike of more than 155,000 other PSAC members working under the banners of the Treasury Board and the Canada Revenue Agency. Unlike the other bargaining units, the border services group has not declared an impasse in its negotiations.
“We do not sit at a table with an employer who treats our fellow members with the disrespect that Treasury Board has displayed. We will only meet with the employer once they give striking members the fair contract they deserve.”
In regard to potential border impacts of the ongoing strike, PSAC states that more than 2,500 Customs and Immigration Union members are a part of the Program and Administrative Services group bargaining with the Treasury Board who are now on strike. Those members perform administrative and other non-law-enforcement duties and support frontline border operations across the country.
This is an excerpt from the Ottawa Citizen.
Labour Disruption Updates
Impacts by institution can be found on the Government of Canada webpage here.