Thursday, April 30, 2009

Union Predicts Delays as Canada Border Services Imposes Cutbacks

(CBC News)

The Canada Border Services Agency is cutting back on overtime staffing across the country just as the United States is increasing its border security measures, sparking concerns among Canadian employees.

The move will mean certain delays for people entering Canada, the union representing border workers said Wednesday.

“The public can certainly expect a longer waiting time to get through,” said Jean-Pierre Fortin, vice-president of the Customs and Immigration Union.

The agency has cut back on its staffing budget, meaning workers at land and airport border control points will no longer be allowed to work overtime during peak periods. […]

In an email to CBC News, the border agency said overtime hours are being reduced in order to manage resources more efficiently. [...]

But Fortin said the union fears border security will be jeopardized. Under one money management measure, for example, guards will stop using gamma ray imaging to scan the contents of trucks, containers and other cargo, which he said will impact “the security of this country.” Read more here.