Tag Archives: Santé et sécurité

2019 novel coronavirus: Safety measures

picture of passengers in airport

CIU National President Jean-Pierre Fortin recently gave an in-depth interview to Radio-Canada (article in French) regarding what the union is expecting from the employer in response to the 2019 novel coronavirus outbreak.

Our members are the first line of defence of the country and the ongoing outbreak is no different, as border services officers interact with potentially ill travellers every day. While the risks of being exposed to the 2019 novel coronavirus remain low for the moment, we are encouraging all border services personnel to remain vigilant. We recommend that eyewear, N95 face masks and gloves be worn with any prolonged exposure to potentially ill travellers (such as interviewing or escorting), and it is the union’s position that such protective equipment should be made mandatory at major airports. We also highlighted to the employer that primary inspection kiosks should be disinfected regularly to prevent illnesses from spreading.

Further to ensuring proper access to protective equipment, we also brought up to CBSA the need to put in place additional measures to slow down the flow of travellers arriving from regions where they could have been exposed to the disease. While implementing such measures can present challenges, it would allow our officers and relevant authorities to better identify and assist travellers who show signs of infection.

Ultimately, given their expertise, it would be highly beneficial for government public health officials to be deployed to the country’s main airports (Toronto, Montréal and Vancouver) to assist our officers.

It is worth noting that, so far, the employer has been quite forthcoming with the union regarding the outbreak, and the exchange of information has been well-received.

It is important to bear in mind that, as with any similar public health issue, the situation is evolving quickly, and new directives may be issued by the employer and other authorities in the coming days. We will make sure to keep you informed of any new development. If you have any questions, please reach out to your Branch President or your local Health and Safety representative.

National Day of Mourning

Image of candle to symbolize mourning, for the April 28 Day of Mourning

April 28 is the National Day of Mourning. On that day, we will once again remember those who lost their lives due to work-related causes. Since 1995 and in Canada alone, some 20,000 workplace deaths have occurred. Today, the National Day of Mourning is recognized in over 100 countries around the world.

CIU attaches great importance to its members’ health and safety. We must do all we can to prevent needless suffering as a result of hazardous and unhealthy working conditions and continue to promote safe working conditions for our members.

On April 28, we encourage all Customs and Immigration Union members to observe a moment of silence at 11:00 a.m., and to attend local events organized to commemorate the Day.