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More than 9,000 border workers set to walk out this afternoon

Mediation with Public Service Alliance of Canada ongoing since Monday
A Canada Border Services Agency officer speaks to a motorist entering Canada at the Douglas-Peace Arch border crossing, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, August 9, 2021. The union representing thousands of Canadian border workers says they will begin job action Friday afternoon if no deal is reached by then. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Thousands of Canadian border workers could go on strike this afternoon if mediation doesn’t deliver a deal before then.

More than 9,000 Public Service Alliance of Canada members who work for the Canada Border Services Agency are set to begin striking this afternoon.

The two sides went into mediation on Monday.

The union says key issues include pay parity with other law enforcement agencies, remote work options, pension benefits and stronger workplace protections.

The government says 90 per cent of front-line border officers are designated as essential, which means they can’t stop working during a strike.

But union members could use work-to-rule, a tactic where employees do their jobs exactly as outlined in their contracts.

Experts say that could cause each border crossing to take longer than it usually does, which could in turn cause massive disruptions given the volume of traffic that normally moves across the border.

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