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Name tags for Canada border agents rejected by union

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Name tags for Canada border agents rejected by union

Postby oneh2obabe » Dec 12th, 2012, 6:55 am

Customs and Immigration Union claims CBSA's new mandatory policy puts agents at risk
CBC News
Posted: Dec 11, 2012 11:20 AM ET
Last Updated: Dec 11, 2012 3:29 PM ET

Front-line, uniformed officers of the Canadian Border Services Agency are now required to wear name tags.

“We believe that this small step will allow the millions of clients we serve to feel more comfortable in their interactions with our officers,” the CBSA said in a media release. “Personalized name tags reflect our commitment to service excellence and reinforce the professionalism and integrity for which CBSA officers are known.”

However, the Customs and Immigration Union, which represents those employees, opposes the change. It says identifying officers puts them in danger.

“Let there be no doubt: CIU vehemently opposes CBSA’s new name tag policy. In fact, CIU has been opposed to the policy since learning of the agency’s intent to implement it,” the union’s national president, Jean-Pierre Fortin, wrote in a memo to members. “CIU believes that wearing name tags exposes our members to unnecessary risks.

“We also told management that they should not be surprised by a serious push-back from many of our members who fear for their safety and health and who are determined to pursue every redress option available.”

The agency said officers process more than 96 million travellers, 13.5 million commercial releases and 30 million courier shipments annually.

"This CBSA initiative will in no way make the interactions with our clients more comfortable or professional," CIU Local 0018 Windsor district branch president Ace Essex said in an email to CBC News. "It should go without saying that our concerns are not with the vast majority of those we encounter whom are law abiding good people.

"We don't wear professional. We act it."

Essex claims some members are so concerned for their safety they have started using pseudonyms on Facebook so they can't be found online.

“The first experience that many people have with Canada happens at a point of entry, interacting with a border services officer. In many ways, this makes our [officers] the first face of Canada,” the agency’s release said. “In an effort to improve the public's recognition of the agency, over the past several years we have undertaken efforts to strengthen our brand and modernize officer uniforms."

Fortin said in the membership “should be reminded of the ‘obey now, grieve later’ approach” of the union.

Fortin said the union has hired counsel who “explored the areas of health and safety, collective bargaining, and privacy.”

For nearly five years, the Toronto Police Association fought similar policy. It lost its battle in 2011 when the Ontario Labour Relations Board ruled that name tags did not present a danger.

“Expert evidence ... did not establish that there was an increased risk of harm to members of the [Toronto Police Service] from the wearing of name tags,” the board concluded.

Ninety Toronto police officers were disciplined for removing their name tags during the G20 weekend in 2010.

Many officers did not wear name tags on their uniform during the summit, which in some instances made it difficult to identify them in photos and footage during subsequent reviews into police actions..

Front-line members of the RCMP, Canadian Forces, Correctional Service Canada and United States Customs and Border Protection already wear name tags.

Tom Wienner is a U.S. lawyer representing three Canadian women who earlier this year filed lawsuits alleging "sexual molestation" by U.S. female border guards at the Canada-U.S. border near Windsor, Ont.

He called name tags "good policy."

"I think it would be a good idea, frankly. It would make it easier for people who have issues with or complaints about people they're dealing with,” Wienner said.

He doesn't believe but can't say for certain that the U.S. officers accused were wearing name tags.

"None of the women I’m representing knew the names of the officers they encountered," he said.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/windsor/s ... union.html
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Re: Name tags for Canada border agents rejected by union

Postby albertabound » Dec 12th, 2012, 11:55 am

:sunshine: Great now you have a name by the way thet treated you, we will have a way of getting these agents disciplened if needed. :bethecoffee:
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Re: Name tags for Canada border agents rejected by union

Postby KL3-Something » Dec 12th, 2012, 1:35 pm

albertabound wrote::sunshine: Great now you have a name by the way thet treated you, we will have a way of getting these agents disciplened if needed. :bethecoffee:



You always could. Based on their badge number which have always had to be clearly displayed. Their opposition comes from bad guys now knowing what their name is and then maybe being able to find them somewhere outside of their workplace.
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Re: Name tags for Canada border agents rejected by union

Postby Captain Awesome » Dec 12th, 2012, 1:50 pm

KL,

Why would it be that different from police forces? PD's deal with bad guys on much bigger scale, yet they wear badges and give out business cards.
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Re: Name tags for Canada border agents rejected by union

Postby Ken7 » Dec 12th, 2012, 4:48 pm

I'm just thinking when is the last time a Boarder agent had a threat placed against them? Truly, if they were in any danger it will be face-to-face at work. I see a true need to have all of them trained and armed as they should be.

I know of one case where a seasoned guard told a US Trucker to bring his papers in and his gun. The guy bring in a 357 cal, handgun which was loaded and papers. If not loaded it's a paper weight right. He lays the documents on the counter and the gun.

As there is no permit to take the gun intp Canada the agent finds out when the fellow will return. As it worked out, the agent was working that following Sunday. Suggested leaving handgun in safe and pick up when heading south again. Agreed no complaint all is cool.

Following Sunday, trucker politely asks for gun, no trouble. Brings gun and ammo out of safe. Trucker calmly loads gun makes small talk, then points gun at agent and tells him, "Don't you ever take my gun from me again!" He leaves the office.

KL, not sure... any real problems with Customs agents in BC?? Is this necessary to hide ones name??
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Re: Name tags for Canada border agents rejected by union

Postby SurplusElect » Dec 12th, 2012, 10:34 pm

Guards at prisons and high level security usually do not wear name tags to stay anonymous for their protection. People working in jobs where they can be pressured to look the other way.

They are not McDonald's workers - you are asking to come back or come into to Canada.

Gang / Drug Task Forces cops don't wear name tags, ect.
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Re: Name tags for Canada border agents rejected by union

Postby Ken7 » Dec 12th, 2012, 10:48 pm

SurplusElect wrote:Guards at prisons and high level security usually do not wear name tags to stay anonymous for their protection. People working in jobs where they can be pressured to look the other way.

They are not McDonald's workers - you are asking to come back or come into to Canada.

Gang / Drug Task Forces cops don't wear name tags, ect.



Interesting, although Police officers wear name tags on uniforms.

Did you realize, Criminals do not travel freely from Canada to the USA. That would mean your Mom and Dad types might want to look up Johnny and chew him a new hoop for charging them duty on their extra 40 oz coming back from Arizona for the summer.

It make ZERO sense. The other people fleeing into Canada are normally not stopping or not using the Boarder crossing...so now I'm stumped!
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Re: Name tags for Canada border agents rejected by union

Postby hobbyguy » Dec 13th, 2012, 9:34 am

Can't say as I think name tags are a good idea. The tags would give too many nut jobs a way to get back at an agent who does their job properly, but the nut job doesn't like the rules.

Maybe the name tags could just be "Fred" or "Mary" with no last names. That I could see. Then if you were asked to pull over, and another agent asked why, you could say, I don't know - ask "Fred". But you wouldn't be able to look for their Facebook account or whatever.

The agents have privacy rights too.
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Re: Name tags for Canada border agents rejected by union

Postby Ken7 » Dec 13th, 2012, 10:45 pm

I spoke to a contact of mine this evening. Even the Federal Penitentiary staff wears their names. They do not use full first given, although they do use Sir names. Example J. DOE, not John DOE.

I think the guards are much more at risk then boarder agents. Just my thoughts..
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