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Unifor calls on Ottawa to ease travel restrictions

But public is firmly opposed to opening the U.S. border before end of year: Ipsos Survey


August 28, 2020
By Talent Canada Staff

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(ehrlif/Adobe Stock)

One of Canada’s biggest unions is pushing the federal government to ease travel restrictions. But that could be a tough sell with the public, at least when it comes to the U.S. border, according to a recent Ipsos/Global News survey that found more than eight in 10 want it closed until at least the end of 2020.

“The air travel sector has arguably been hit the hardest because of the pandemic and easing travel restrictions start by putting the health and safety of workers and passengers at the forefront,” said Jerry Dias, Unifor national president. “Canadians are demanding all levels of government to start implementing measures that ease travel restrictions and provide funding to help the travel industry survive this unprecedented downturn.”

Clear criteria

Unifor representatives outlined the need for government to establish clear criteria for opening borders to safe countries and corridors and reducing some quarantine requirements using science-based alternatives.

The union believes that travelers arriving from countries and jurisdictions that have controlled the virus should not be subjected to the same protocols as countries where the virus is not contained.

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“As the world is opening up, countries are coming to realize that blanket travel restrictions no longer make sense and in turn only hurt our economy, especially the travel and tourism sector,” said Barret Armann, President of Unifor Local 7378. “We need to recognize that if other countries are willing to accept Canadian travellers based on how we have controlled the virus we should do the same. The solution here is not simple but manageable and the government must act now.”

Health and safety protocols

The union also highlighted its continued work with  employers in the travel and tourism industry including hotels, airlines, and airports, to implement health and safety protocols that will increase the safety of workers and the travelling public.

Unifor is Canada’s largest private-sector union – it represents 315,000 workers across the country.