Customs and Immigration Union (CIU)

Customs and Immigration Union (CIU)

November 10, 2005 16:29 ET

CEUDA: Customs Work Refusals Choke Border in Windsor and Sarnia, Ontario

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Nov. 10, 2005) - Customs Officers working in Windsor and Sarnia, Ontario, exercised their right to refuse dangerous work earlier today. The refusals are affecting border operations in four locations:

1 - Windsor Tunnel
2 - Windsor's Ambassador Bridge
3 - Sarnia’s Bluewater Bridge Traveller Operations
4 - Sarnia’s Bluewater Bridge Commercial Operations

There is no way to anticipate how long this may last.

Ron Moran, representing 10,500 members, at the Canada Revenue Agency and the Customs Border Services Agency (CBSA), more than 5,000 of whom are Customs Officers that include Canada's uniformed Officers working on the front-lines, as well as the Investigation, Intelligence, and Trade Customs Officers, says, "Our members exercised this right in part because they don't trust the armed and dangerous lookout system, which is critically flawed in that it repeatedly fails to identify armed and dangerous felons as such."

Moran adds, "From altered reports to generating misleading enforcement stats to interfering with armed and dangerous lookouts, regrettably a culture of deception has emerged amongst senior Customs managers that has breached the trust officers have in management to genuinely look after their safety."

"We view testimony by the Deputy Prime Minister to the Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence that she's going to make an announcement on how her Government will provide an enhanced, armed presence at the border as a very positive step forward. Our members understandably expect not to be left exposed, in the interim, to the lethal risk now finally acknowledged by the Government. In short, they want to be equipped properly and protected immediately and expect the Minister to act now on both issues."

CEUDA supports its members fully and calls on the Minister to act immediately.

Contact Information

    Steve Pellerin-Fowlie
    2nd National Vice-President
    (403) 836-5222
    Erik Lupien
    Communications and Political Coordination Officer
    (613) 723-8008