In December 2012, many Border Services Officers (BSO) across Canada exercised their right to refuse dangerous work. These BSOs alleged that CBSA’s new, ill-conceived name tag policy forcing them to wear ID tags showing their names placed them at a higher risk of being harassed, threatened or injured by persons who may be angered as a result of enforcement actions taken against them.
A Health & Safety Officer (HSO) from Labour Programs, Employment and Social Development Canada, investigated the work refusals and, while finding “no danger”, issued a direction ordering CBSA to take preventative measures to address assessed hazards associated with the implementation of the new name tag policy into various workplaces nationwide.
CBSA, in its typically arrogant ways, decided to ignore the HSO direction, and appealed it to the Occupational Safety and Health Tribunal.
The Tribunal hearings occurred the week of December 12, 2013. After nearly 8 months of waiting, the Tribunal issued an excellent decision … favouring BSO safety and reminding CBSA that it has to do a better job protecting its employees.
The decision quashes CBSA’s appeal and confirms the direction issued by a HSO.
CIU applauds its members for exercising their rights, thanks the PSAC, and expresses its gratitude to the HSO and to the Tribunal for supporting BSO safety.
We are now examining the decision and assessing all options for next steps.
Note: The decision will be posted & distributed once the French version is available after translation.