Strike at Canadian border causes massive traffic backup on Michigan freeways

Strike begins 3 days before fully vaccinated US citizens can enter Canada without quarantine

A strike by Canadian border workers caused massive freeway backups Friday on I-75 and I-94.

DETROIT – A strike by Canadian border workers caused massive freeway backups Friday on I-75 and I-94.

The border remains closed to non-essential travel until Monday.

Read: Strike at Canadian border causes traffic backup on Ambassador Bridge, Detroit-Windsor Tunnel

The Canadian border officials started a work-to-rule strike Friday. They are working, but only to the specifics of their workday, causing delays that backed freeways up for miles.

Some drivers reported waiting two hours to cross the Ambassador Bridge, an hour and 50 minutes to cross the Blue Water Bridge and just 15 minutes for the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel, but even a small slowdown means big problems for businesses.

“This is the worst time possible for an industry slowdown to occur,” said Glenn Stevens Jr. “Even if it’s a work-to-rule situation, with the slowdown because the industry has gone through tremendous pressure. Our signature industry, our biggest trading partner, our biggest trading industry is the auto industry and the last thing it needs right now is a disruption.”

Some business owners are worried their produce could potentially rot in the trucks if they don’t cross the border in time.

“Unfortunately, this is a very perishable industry. It’s commodity dependent and we have commodities that are sensitive enough that we start seeing diminished quality,” said Bill Loupee, with Ben B Schwartz & Sons. We don’t have time to have trucks to sit at the border for 24-48 hours. It’s just not an option.”

The strike comes ahead of Canada opening the border to non-essential travelers Monday, who may need to be ready to wait as the strike continues.

Canadian officials said discussion are ongoing, but did not say if there was an end in sight.

More: US-Canada news

About the Authors:

Grant comes to Local 4 from Oklahoma City. He joins the news team as co-anchor of Local 4 News Today weekend mornings and is a general assignment reporter.

Dane is a producer and media enthusiast. He previously worked freelance video production and writing jobs in Michigan, Georgia and Massachusetts. Dane graduated from the Specs Howard School of Media Arts.