August 6, 2021, marked a historical moment for our union and for the Canadian labour movement at large when FB members mobilized from coast to coast to coast, successfully bringing to a close a long and protracted bargaining round. Through this display of solidarity — one of the most fruitful in recent Canadian labour history — our members showed just how powerful we can be when we come together and act as one in the face of adversity.
As the anniversary of this important moment approaches, FB members once again find themselves at the early stage of the bargaining process for a new collective agreement, preparing for another round where key protections will have to be fought for and defended. At the same time, following Treasury Board’s insulting wage proposal and unacceptable concession demands, our members from the PA, TC, SV and EB tables have reached impasse in their own negotiations, and are now awaiting the proceedings of the Public Interest Commission, moving closer to being in a legal strike position.
As this unfolds, it is important to remember that we do not bargain in a vacuum. Many of the concessions sought by Treasury Board for the PA, TC, SV and EB tables will have a broader impact beyond this round of bargaining — including for our FB members for whom the bargaining process is just beginning.
Victories are most effective when they act as a foundation to be built upon. In that spirit, let August 6 serve as a springboard for us to support ongoing efforts to push back against Treasury Board’s concession demands, in a demonstration of solidarity with all members — both within CIU and outside CIU — from the PA, TC, SV and EB groups.
No gesture is too small. On the first anniversary date of the August 6 FB mobilization and for the week following, Branch executives are encouraged to plan activities appropriate for their work location in solidarity with other Treasury Board tables. Members should reach out to their Branch President to discuss ideas and ways to express support for ongoing bargaining efforts. Branch Presidents can contact their National Vice-President for more information.
United we bargain, divided we beg: On August 6 and beyond, let’s show that CIU members truly know the meaning of solidarity.
Customs and Immigration Union