Dispute Over Name Tags Causes Huge Backups At US-Canada Border Crossings
DETROIT (WWJ) – Officials say motorists traveling from Michigan to Canada Wednesday should prepare for long delays at the border because of disorder over name tags.
The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) said the disruption is being caused by officers at the international crossings “who question the health and safety implications of wearing a name tag on their uniform.”
As a result, several agents are refusing to work, which is causing backups for motorists.
Some drivers calling the WWJ Newsroom said they had been sitting in line at the Ambassador Bridge, inbound to Canada, for over two hours. Backups are also being reported at the Blue Huron Bridge between Port Huron and Sarnia, Ontario.
Independent trucker Jack Fehr of Leamington, Ontario says the two-hour delay means he’s losing money while standing still.
“We’re burning more fuel during the time and we’re not making any money because we get paid by the mile. So, we’re working longer days, burning more fuel, with less money in our pocket at the end of the day,” he said.
Customs and Immigration union president Jean-Pierre Fortin said earlier this month that the name tags expose border agents to “unnecessary risks.” The CBSA, however, says the name tags are in line with similar policies in place with other sectors of Canadian law enforcement whose frontline uniformed officers all wear identification.
Officials say the agents’ refusal to work is expected to cause delays at least through Wednesday morning.