Alyssa Alibaksh | The Avro Post

The Canadian Customs and Immigration Union representing border officials and workers continue their call for a new contract as over 100 union members rallied at a Toronto Pearson Airport terminal on Thursday.

The CIU states the current pay gap between border officials and other law enforcement agencies is $12,000.

“Right now, we are the first line of defence of this country,” said CIU president, Jean-Pierre Fortin, addressing that the crucial part of the job as border agents is intercepting drugs and weapons from entering Canada.

The union has been publicly campaigning since December 2017 as other demands include the ability to retire after 25 years of service without receiving pension penalties.

According to the CIU, approximately 1,600 jobs have been withdrawn and replaced by technology over the last five years. Fortin has said, “by replacing the interactions we’re having with the passengers, you’re reducing the level of security in this country.”

The previous contract between the Canadian Border Services Agency and the CIU has been expired since June 2014.

Unsure if longer wait times are to occur, Fortin adds that with an increase of pressure towards the CBSA, there will be an impact on summer travels.

The CBSA and CIU are to meet at the negotiation table next week.

More details to follow. Image of rally from CBC News. 

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