Over 155,000 federal workers begin strike over wages in Canada

A Canadian flag flies in front of the peace tower on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Canada on December 4, 2015 (Photo: AFP/Geoff Robins)

After midnight on Wednesday, approximately 155,000 federal employees, including 35,000 from Canada's tax agency, went on strike in what their union dubbed one of the country's largest strikes.

The Public Service Alliance of Canada stated that the strike was called after unsuccessful negotiations with the government. There will be picket lines at over 250 locations.

The Canada Revenue Agency is currently on strike as tax returns are due.

The union's national president Chris Aylward stated that the bargaining teams would remain at the table throughout the strike.

"The government has done everything possible to reach an agreement and prevent disruptions to the essential services Canadians rely on." Despite ongoing progress on critical issues at the bargaining table, the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) has decided to proceed with a nationwide general strike, according to a statement from the federal government's Treasury Board.

Wage increases are the primary concern.

On the advice of the third-party Public Interest Commission, the Treasury Board reportedly offered the union a 9 percent raise over three years.

However, the union has advocated for 4.5 percent annual raises over the next three years, contending that the increases are necessary to keep up with inflation.

It has also maintained issues such as more greater restrictions on contract work, increased anti-racism training, and remote work provisions on the table.

The Public Service Alliance of Canada and the government began mediated contract negotiations in early April. It continued through the weekend in what the union describes as the government's final opportunity to reach an agreement.

Publish : 2023-04-19 13:34:00

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