Some striking Canadian federal workers say having to work in office two days a week is unacceptable, because “the pandemic is not over.”
More than 155,000 federal government employees in Canada represented by the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) union began their strike on Wednesday.
“We proved ourselves that we can work efficiently and more productively from home and the fact that they’re mandating us to go back to work two days a week just doesn’t make sense,” one striker said.
“I believe that we made the transition during the pandemic to work from home,” another said.
“I still believe the pandemic is not over,” she added.
“Going to work is risking getting sick. I feel like working at home, you’re still completing your day-to-day tasks, so I think as public servants we should have the option to choose.”
Meanwhile, according to Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) the strike will result in “significantly reduced capacity.”
On Thursday, immigration minister Sean Fraser said there will be “serious delays with processing applications across all of our immigration strains.”
Fraser further said that the much-publicized backlogs that had built up during the pandemic were close to being back to normal.
“Unfortunately the labour disruption will have an impact on the gains that we have made and the work that we have been doing to address these backlogs since the pandemic.”
Last summer, just after Canada’s Supreme Leader Justin Trudeau suspended his vindictive and unconstitutional travel ban on unvaccinated Canadians, videos emerged online of brutal lineups forming at Service Canada offices across the country.