Border agents in name-tag protest back to work in Windsor, Ont.
Canadian Immigration Union, NDP MP Brian Masse both disagree with worker ID policy
Front-line border officers at North America's busiest border in Windsor, Ont., are back on the job today following a protest over mandatory name tags.
A work refusal snarled bridge traffic at the Ambassador Bridge in Windsor and at the Blue Water Bridge in Sarnia, Ont., on Wednesday. Delays were as long as two hours at times.
However, officials at the Windsor bridge said there were no delays coming into or leaving Canada on Thursday, a day after a federal labour program ruled name tags do not pose a safety risk to border agents, as the Canadian Immigration Union claimed.
The union continues to disagree. So does the NDP's border critic, Windsor West MP Brian Masse.
Border officers started returning to work with their name tags after the Labour Canada ruling.
The union claims wearing a name tag exposes members to unnecessary risks.
Masse said the name-tag issue should not be a priority for the federal government:
"When we're looking at what we want to actually spend our money on at the border right now, it is not putting a person's name on the chest of their uniform. It just is not a priority to me when they already have identifiable members."
Members already wear a five-digit number sewn to their uniforms.
"I would rather have detector dogs. I would rather have the inspection officers," Masse said.
Recent cuts to the Canada Border Services Agency removed a detector dog from Windsor. However, Ottawa maintains that no front-line workers were lost in the southwestern Ontario city when cuts were made.
The CBSA says name tags are in line with similar policies by the RCMP, Canadian Forces, Correctional Service of Canada, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection.