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Ron Marcolin is the divisional vice-president of Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters. Image: Submitted

Business groups worry about impact of federal strike

By Brad Perry Apr 20, 2023 | 3:00 PM

Businesses across Canada will feel the effects of a federal public service worker strike, according to one trade and industry organization.

A divisional vice president with Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters said it is already beginning to impact the industry.

Ron Marcolin, who is based in New Brunswick, said their biggest concern relates to labour. As a result of the strike, applications for work permits and visas are currently at a standstill.

“At a time when business needs labour and they need it now, we are now at a full stop in regards to those parts of our labour puzzle,” Marcolin said in an interview Thursday.

The strike, he said, is also slowing down paperwork at the border related to importing and exporting goods.

“We understand that roughly 20 per cent of CBSA employees deal with the back office, specifically paperwork on the importing and exporting of goods,” said Marcolin.

There is no indication of how long the strike could last, but Marcolin said he hopes both sides will stay at the bargaining table so they can reach an agreement.

More than 155,000 workers, represented by the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC), were officially on strike as of 12:01 a.m. Eastern Time on Wednesday.

The strike will impact 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.

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.


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