Members of the Customs and Immigration Union (CIU) and the Public Service Alliance of Canada staged a rally at Peace Arch border Wednesday afternoon. (Aaron Hinks photo)

CBSA union members stage first B.C. rally at Lower Mainland border crossing

CBSA demonstrators demand wage increase, improved work-life balance, and better and pension reform

The union representing Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) officers staged a rally at the Peace Arch border crossing Wednesday afternoon, drawing public attention to its ongoing contract negotiations with the federal government.

Starting at noon, dozens of union members, including those who work at the Aldergrove-Lynden’s border crossing, sporadically blocked southbound traffic to the border while motorists honked their horns.

It is the first demonstration of its kind in the province, said Customs and Immigration Union (CIU) national president Jean-Pierre Fortin.

Customs and Immigration Union (CIU) and the Public Service Alliance of Canada are demanding a wage increase that keeps up with inflation, better protections for members from CBSA management, improved work-life balance, and already mentioned pension reform.

Fortin said Canadian border officers are currently on the “frontline of the coronavirus,” an asylum-seeker crisis in B.C., and government gun-control strategy– and yet “lack basic treatment of respect.”

CBSA officers are the only type of law enforcement officials in Canada not allowed to retire after 25 years of service, without penalty.

“Even correctional service employees have that [retirement clause] in their agreement,” Fortin explained.

“We’re growing impatient,” Fortin uttered alongside unsatisfied CBSA union members.

CBSA officers have been without a collective agreement since June of 2018, Fortin said. The last round of bargaining took four years to come to an agreement on a “decent contract,” he said.

CIU is now in its second year of bargaining for a new contract.

“By this June it will be three years.”

Although the border was fully operational Wednesday, Fortin said CIU will “in the very near future” assess “pressure tactics.”

“And it could certainly impact, you know, the public in general,” he said. “We will be escalating this.”

Fortin said CIU intends to send a very clear message to the government with the rally – “start bargaining.”

Wednesday’s rally marked the third the union has staged across the country, including two previous protests in New Brunswick and Ontario.

– with files from Aaron Hinks

RELATED: CBSA union members stage rally at Peace Arch Border Crossing

Border Services Officerprotest

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

ELECTION: Ryan Warawa to run for BC Conservative Party in Langley East

Son of late MP Mark Warawa is former president of provincial party

ELECTION: Langley Township councillor Eric Woodward will run for the BC NDP in Langley East

Will challenge another current Township councillor for the job

Tenor from Langley-based Trinity Western University joins Vancouver Chamber Choir

Rob Workman feels ‘blessed by these opportunities’

ELECTION: Wiens named Green candidate for Langley East

Said party offers “hopeful” alternative to NDP and Liberals

QUIZ: Do you know what’s on TV?

Fall is normally the time when new television shows are released

PHOTOS: 2nd calf in a month confirmed among Southern Resident killer whale pod

Center for Whale Research said they will eagerly await to observe the calf to evaluate its health

97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized from farm in Princeton

RCMP assisted as BC SPCA executed search warrant

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Father hopes journey to aviation-safety program inspires hope

Former South Surrey resident Greg Sewell hasn’t given up on quest to mandate older-plane retrofits

$250K reward offered as investigation continues into Sea to Sky Gondola vandalism

Police also asking for specific footage of Sea to Sky highway around time of incident

Trudeau ‘disappointed’ by RCMP treatment of Sikh officers over mask issue

World Sikh Organization of Canada said taking Sikh officers off the front lines constitutes discrimination

Most Read