Tax workers prep to hit the picket line

If you thought tax season couldn’t get any more stressful, the people responsible for processing those returns may be out of office in the near future.

What happened: Over 35,000 tax workers are in a position to strike after union members of the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) voted “overwhelmingly” last Friday for a mandate to walk out. They’re fighting for a new collective bargaining agreement with higher wages.

  • They are demanding raises equalling 20.5% over three years and an immediate 9% bump, arguing the increases are necessary due to inflation. 
  • A final round of negotiations is scheduled for April 17th to April 20th—if those fail, CRA workers could walk off the job as soon as next week.

Why it matters: For anyone new to adulting (or who continually forgets), the tax filing deadline is May 1st this year. If the strike happens, it could result in delays for returns and create a major headache for anyone who hasn’t busted out TurboTax yet.

  • While most tax returns are processed instantly, the strike could stifle Canadians’ access to CRA services during the busiest stretch of tax time. 

Zoom out: Mounting labour unrest is another consequence of persistent inflation, as workers try to secure pay hikes in line with rising prices. Over 120,000 Treasury Board employees will also conclude voting on strike action today, which could disrupt everything from airports to Stats Canada’s economic data releases.