CFIB statement on federal public service strikes

Toronto, April 19, 2023 – The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is concerned about the impact of a strike started by over 150,000 federal public service workers today, including Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) workers.
A strike by the CRA’s unionized workers, in the middle of tax season, will cause significant stress for small businesses and taxpayers. With the CRA already indicating that tax filing deadlines won't be pushed back, the work stoppage could result in penalties and interest for small businesses and the inability to get their important questions answered.
The broader strike of federal public sector workers could deeply affect other important services, including Employment Insurance, passports and immigration. These agencies play a major role in hiring and terminations and could affect the already acute shortage of labour among small employers.
CFIB is also concerned about the magnitude of the union's wage demand. We estimate that the 33% wage hike proposed by the CRA union would cost taxpayers an additional $1 billion alone. And with significant wage demands among the other PSAC unions, the costs could be staggering, ensuring endless deficits, future tax hikes and exacerbating inflation. 

Wage hikes of this size also put pressure on the private sector to do the same - making the shortage of labour an even bigger challenge for small businesses. 
CFIB urges the federal government to:

  • Ensure all departments maintain full service to small business 
  • Continue negotiation to ensure a long-term and affordable collective bargaining agreement is signed
  • Prepare back to work legislation should strike action last more than a few days

CFIB continues to call all parties to work on a timely resolution to avoid a disruption of critical services at a cost Canadians can afford. 
- Dan Kelly, President, Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB)

For media enquiries or interviews, please contact:
Dariya Baiguzhiyeva, CFIB

About CFIB
The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) is Canada’s largest association of small and medium-sized businesses with 97,000 members across every industry and region. CFIB is dedicated to increasing business owners’ chances of success by driving policy change at all levels of government, providing expert advice and tools, and negotiating exclusive savings. Learn more at