Federal workers in Penticton took to the picket lines on the first day of strike action on Wednesday.
Workers on strike gathered in front of Penticton’s two federal buildings, located on Ellis Street and on Winnipeg Street, ready with signs.
The Winnipeg Street building, which houses multiple services and branches of the government including the Canadian Revenue Agency, has close to 250 employees who are participating in the strike.
More than 150,000 federal employees across Canada are striking after negotiations between the largest public sector union and the government broke down on Tuesday, April 18.
Employees in the union include those working for the Canadian Revenue Agency, Employment and Social Development Canada, Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada, Indigenous Services Canada, Transport Canada and Veterans Affairs Canada.
Some of the signs on display in Penticton pointed references to inflation, and others carried “80s music. Not 80s wages.”
The lines have been set up with tables and food and drinks for the long haul, although they are hopeful that a deal will be reached soon.
“We are all hopeful for a quick resolution, ” said Nadia Sokal, the strike captain at the Ellis Street location. “We know that everybody is still at the bargaining table and we’d like this to be over as soon as they can.”
There was plenty of support from the general public as well, as drivers passing by both locations often pumped their horns as they went by.
The union is pushing for a 4.5 per cent raise each year for the next three years, while the Treasury Board of Canada offered a three per cent raise each year for the next three instead, based on the recommendation of the third-party Public Interest Commission.