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Public service workers picket in front of a federal government building in uptown Saint John on April 19, 2023. Image: Brad Perry

Thousands of public service workers on the picket lines

By Brad Perry Apr 19, 2023 | 11:47 AM

Wednesday marks day one of strike action for more than 155,000 federal public service workers across Canada.

The members, who are part of the Public Service Alliance of Canada, walked off the job at 12:01 a.m. Eastern Time on Wednesday.

It came just hours after the union announced it had failed to reach a tentative deal with the employer before its self-imposed deadline.

Members walked the picket lines in nearly two dozen locations across New Brunswick on Wednesday, including in front of a federal building on Canterbury Street in Saint John.

The strike is impacting 120,000 members of the Treasury Board and 35,000 Canada Revenue Agency employees. About 46,000 Treasury Board and 1,400 Canada Revenue Agency workers have been deemed essential.

RELATED: 155K federal workers to strike after no tentative deal

PSAC said this is one of the largest strikes in Canada’s history, with nearly one-third of all federal public service workers on strike.

“Canadians can expect to see slowdowns or a complete shutdown of services nationwide, including a complete halt of the tax season, disruptions to employment insurance, immigration and passport applications; interruptions to supply chains and international trade at ports, harbours, and airports; and slowdowns at the border with administrative staff on strike,” the union said in a news release on Monday.

Ottawa said while some services will be delayed or unavailable, essential services will continue to be delivered, including Employment Insurance payments, Canada Pension Plan payments, Veterans’ income support, and Old Age Security and Guaranteed Income Supplement payments.


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