155,000 federal workers, including CRA, to strike nationwide Wednesday

Apr 19 2023, 1:39 am

Canada’s largest union has just announced a nationwide general strike after failed negotiations with the government.

In an evening news conference, the Public Service Alliance of Canada announced at an evening news conference in Ottawa that 155,000 federal workers, including many from the Canada Revenue Agency and Treasury Board, will strike starting Wednesday, April 19.

“We truly hoped we wouldn’t be forced to take strike action, but we’ve exhausted every other avenue to reach a fair contract for Canada’s Federal Public Service workers,” said Chris Aylward, PSAC national president.

“Now more than ever, workers need fair wages, good working conditions and inclusive workplaces. And it’s clear the only way we’ll achieve that is by taking strike action to show the government that workers can’t wait.

According to an email from PSAC, strike action will begin at 12:01 am ET April 19 and will be “setting the stage for one of the largest strikes in Canada’s history.”

Picket lines will be set up in more than 250 locations across the country. 

How does this impact tax season?

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) told Daily Hive on Friday that there would be no changes to the tax deadline if workers strike.

“There are no plans to extend the T1 tax filing deadlines, as a potential strike in no way impedes the ability of Canadians to file their taxes electronically or on paper.

“Canadians should take steps to ensure their return is filed by May 1, 2023, along with payment for any balance owing.”

What other services are affected?

Passport applications, which have seen a backlog over the past couple of years, could be impacted, along with immigration applications.

PSAC has said that a national general strike could cause interruptions to trade and supply across the country, saying “ports, harbours, trains, airports will all be impacted.”

Could this strike still be avoided?

According to PSAC, negotiations are continuing with the government saying, “As we begin this historic strike, PSAC bargaining teams will remain at the table night and day as they have been for weeks,” Aylward said. “We’re ready to reach a fair deal as soon as the government is ready to come to the table with a fair offer.”

Last week, a statement from the government suggested that as both parties agreed to mediated negotiations, significant headway was made, addressing many union demands.

The Public Service Alliance of Canada is Canada’s largest federal public service union, representing nearly 230,000 across the country.

With files from Daily Hive staff

Amanda WawrykAmanda Wawryk

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