Strike averted at U.S.-Canada border after unions secure tentative agreement

(FOX 2) - After two years of working without a contract, employees that work at Canada's international border who threatened to walk off the job have reached an agreement, averting a strike that could have disrupted passage with the U.S.

A tentative agreement was reached with the Canada Border Services Agency, securing a new contract for more than 9,000 workers employed along the country's border.

An agreement was struck ahead of a planned strike that was set for just after midnight Friday. The Public Service Alliance of Canada had set a deadline for workers to stop working if no agreement was working by then.

"Our bargaining team has been working around the clock to secure the best contract for our members, and this tentative agreement is a testament to their incredible hard work and dedication," said Sharon DeSousa, PSAC National President. "This is a well-deserved victory for our members at CBSA who safeguard our nation’s borders and ensure the safety and security of all Canadians."

Had workers gone on strike, it would have created a headache for both the supply chain that moves between both countries - especially at the Detroit-Windsor border, which is one of the busiest ports of entry in North America.

More than a quarter of all goods transported between the two countries flows over the Ambassador Bridge.

The collective bargaining agreement includes workers who are members of the PSAC and the Customs and Immigration Union.

"I’m proud of the solidarity our members have shown over that past two years of negotiations," said Mark Weber, CIU National President. "Our bargaining team couldn’t have won this agreement without the strength and support shown by thousands of members across the country who took action to support our bargaining team."

Full details of the agreement will be announced on Thursday, a statement posted on the unions' website said.