strikes by foreign service workers in Canada affect immigrant community

in-country and abroad, Canadian immigration workers have been on strike now for months. if you hadn’t already heard about it, it’s because it’s not being covered very well in the news. summer vacation season and universities starting up in september: by the looks of the comments at Radio Canada news, a lot of people’s lives and wallets are being detrimentally affected.

why are they striking? they want equal rights to other public service workers. rights, and benefits, more than their average $80 000 annual income (I’ve read). canadian embassies abroad hire locally, and these institutions should be canadian-only. in 2012, the gvnmt closed down 19 Citizenship & Immigration offices in Canada and 10 abroad, reducing foreign service workers by 285. the bulk of resulting files and administrative services were outsourced to other visa application centres. the overload must be impressive (all over the world). however, the plan is to create more visa application centres this year: 45 more, in 58 more countries. it looks like they’re reworking the system, and the people who got laid off are upset about that; whoever remains in the system are faced with more overtime hours and beings separated from their lives and spouses (foreign diplomats).

who’s in the right here? the government has been holding off on coming to any conclusions with the strikers, and it’s seriously damaging people’s lives, I would imagine in the hundreds or perhaps thousands. not to mention, on the world stage, it makes Canadians look like spoiled idiots, IMO. I support striking, when it’s necessary, and perhaps in this case it is. but either way, it should have already been resolved. is it going to affect me, as a Canadian living abroad? my visa expires in October, and I’ll have to get a renewal abroad. hmm… time for a visit to the ol’ consul on Calle 100.

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