Striking federal workers want Trudeau to intervene

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Striking federal workers want Trudeau to intervene

Striking federal workers in Canada are calling for the prime minister, Justin Trudeau, to get involved in stalled talks, as the largest job action in decades enters its 10th day and key government services grind to a halt.

Over 100,000 workers with Canada's largest public sector union have been on strike since last week in a dispute over wages and the ability to work remotely.

The strike has disrupted the federal government's ability to process income tax returns and issue quarterly payments to low-income Canadians. The revenue agency, the nation's revenue agency, said it would not delay filing deadlines, with taxes due in the next few days. Passport and visa processing have also slowed significantly.

The federal government and the union agree that workers should get a raise, but the two sides are divided over how much is fair. The union originally called for 13.5% over three years, as well as a contract language that formalizes a universal work-from-home policy. The board has offered a 9% raise over a similar period, which they say is equivalent to an additional C $6,500 US $4,800 annually for workers.

This government says it cares about restoring services for Canadians, but they seem content to shrug it off and prolong this strike and its impact on Canadians everywhere, the Public Service Alliance of Canada, the union, said in a recent internal email sent to workers.

Despite the protracted nature of the strike, 55% of Canadians support federal employees' right to work from home, according to polling from the Angus Reid Institute, a non-profit public opinion firm.

In recent days, the union has escalated its picket lines by targeting Toronto's Pearson airport, the country's busiest travel hub, as well as attempting to block shipping ports in Vancouver, Montreal and St John s.

Despite rising pressure to end the strike, the treasury board said it would not sign agreements that the country cannot afford, nor ones that severe impact our ability to deliver services to Canadians. Instead, they demand Trudeau to take a more hands-on approach.

He can either get involved personally and help settle this dispute or he can turn his back on the workers who are striking, the union president, Chris Aylward, said. Trudeau has said he supports collective bargaining and supports the right to collective bargaining.

It's frustration to know that Canadians may, as the days come, have more difficulties accessing services, but that's a motivation for everyone to try and resolve this, he said.

The strike has become more common as leaders aim to score political points as leaders continue to strike.

A week earlier in the week, the conservative leader, Pierre Poilievre, sang Frank Sinatra s New York, New York, criticizing Trudeau's trip to New York city for meetings. Poilievre was told by parliament's speaker that singing is not allowed in the House of Commons.

Jagmeet Singh, who has a deal to support the Liberals until 2025, said his party would not support any legislation that forced workers to quit their strike.