Canada Border Services Agency union workers ended strike actions late Friday, allowing a smoother flow to border traffic just days before Canada is set to enable vaccinated Americans to cross. Workers had started “work-to-rule action” Friday morning, in which employees at Canadian airports, land borders, and other facilities performed duties to “the letter of the law.”
This action threatened “long and unavoidable delays” at Canada’s borders. It was expected to have a “dramatic impact” on plans to reopen the barrier to American travelers if negotiations were still ongoing Monday, according to the Public Service Alliance of Canada. A news release from the PSAC and Customs and Immigration Union said the labor unions secured a tentative agreement for nearly 9,000 CBSA employees late Friday.
Canada is set to open to fully vaccinated U.S. citizens and permanent residents Monday at 12:01 a.m. EDT. Employees had been fighting for greater parity with other Canadian law enforcement agencies. The agreement includes better protections against “excessive discipline” at work, a new committee to address workplace culture, a paid meal allowance for uniformed members, and a commitment to work toward introducing early retirement benefits. Negotiations had first started in January 2019, according to the release.
Even without the union strike, travelers interested in crossing the border next week can expect longer wait times than usual since travelers will have to show additional documentation – including proof of vaccination and a coronavirus test – to cross. Canada is set to open to fully vaccinated U.S. citizens and permanent residents Monday at 12:01 a.m. EDT.
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Canada border: Strike ends among union workers before Aug. 9 reopening.