Truckers Waiting Up To Five Hours at U.S.-Canadian Border Due to Labor Strike
Ottawa, Ontario – Major delays are being reported in Michigan, Montana, New York, North Dakota, Vermont and Washington following a labor strike at the Canadian border.
The strike affects approximately 9,000 Canadian Border Service Agency (CBSA) employees and stems from a contract dispute.
It began at midnight on Friday and is held jointly between Public Service Alliance of Canada (PBSA) and the Canadian Customs and Immigration Union.
“We’ve been in negotiations for over three years, but the employer has flat out refused to address critical workplace issues impacting our members,″ said Chris Aylward, national president of PBSA.
The work stoppage comes three days before Canada is set to open its borders to “fully vaccinated” travelers on Monday, August 9, following a 17-month closure.
Its impacts were quickly felt on Friday, as hours-long wait times were reported from commercial vehicles attempting to cross the Canadian border.
A border wait time system, run by the Canadian government, warned drivers of delays that averaged approximately two hours on Friday, but those in the middle of it are reported much longer wait times.
John Elliott, CEO of Taylor, MI-based Load One Transportation, told Transportation Nation Network (TNN) the company has numerous trucks waiting to cross into Canada.
“We have trucks waiting between four and five hours currently [in Michigan and New York],” Elliott said on Friday afternoon. “Not only does the excessive wait time at the border delay deliveries by extending transit time, but the drivers will eat up their hours of service and delay loads even further.”
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Further, he warned a prolonged strike could have a deep impact on carriers and shippers.
“An already stretched supply chain is only going to get worse. Carriers will be less likely to want to take cross-border shipments in the sport market or will demand a premium to cover the list utilization,” he stated.
The strike affects all Canadian airports, border crossings, commercial shipping ports and postal facilities.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection indicated there will no change for drivers in Canada crossing into America.