|U.S. workers sneaking into Canada to work for CN during UTU Strike
|Canada Customs officers have been ordered to stop U.S. workers who are sneaking across the border to work illegally for CN Rail. A Canada-wide alert has
been issued to front-line officers of the Canada Border Services Agency to send for secondary checks of all travellers from Illinois where it says the
replacement workers are coming from, this according to a classified notice obtained by Sun Media.
"A company in Illinois is sending people to Canada to work illegally," the February 19 border alert stated. "These people are working illegally."
The alert said U.S. workers, who have been entering Canada at ports of entry in Lansdowne, Prescott and Cornwall, Ontario, are bound for CN rail yards in
Brockville and Coteau Landing in Quebec.
Customs officers said the U.S. workers are "coached" to say they're visiting Canada and not “working,” which would require a permit.
Border agency spokesman Chris Kealey said: "Our officers ensure visitors are legally admissible to Canada. We can turn them around if we are not satisfied
with their answers." Kealey wouldn't comment on internal documents.
CN spokesman Mark Hallman said the railway has a “confidential” strike contingency plan. "CN's strike plan upholds the integrity of the collective bargaining
process," Hallman said in an e-mail statement.
Frank Wilner, spokesperson for United Transportation Union, which represents the striking workers, said his members are against the hiring of U.S. workers.
"We are opposed to replacement workers. This goes against the heart of unionism," Wilner said.
Source: Tom Godfrey - Sun Media