Dozens of Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) workers were on the picket line starting Wednesday, April 19, as one of the largest federal strikes in Canadian history continued.
The striking federal workers in Langley were lined up on the sidewalks on 88th Avenue at 204th in Walnut Grove, as well as south on 204th and in front of the Service Canada Office located there.
“We love our jobs,” said Langley’s strike captain, Susie Blyth. “We love to help people in need of the services we provide.”
Blyth works for Services Canada, but many of those on the Langley picket line work in other government departments, including as civilian RCMP staffers and Corrections Canada. They work processing income taxes, EI, passports, and in the immigration process.
For the local pickets, all the workers who live in the nearby area were coming to Langley’s Service Canada office to picket. Other pickets were set up in Surrey, New Westminster, and Abbotsford, Blyth said.
She said there had been a big turnout on Friday despite the torrential rain in the morning.
“We are getting out there and getting our message out to the public,” said Blyth.
Some drivers were giving supportive honks to the PSAC members who were waving flags and picket signs.
Some of the signs had hand-written slogans such as “2% is for milk,” a reference to the union’s fight for higher wages from the federal government.
“Our goal is to have this strike resolved,” she said.
In the meantime, Blyth said morale was good, despite the weather.
About 155,000 unionized federal workers are unionized through PSAC, but approximately 46,000 are essential workers and remain at their jobs.
Wages are major bone of contention, with PSAC asking for a 13.5 per cent raise over the next three years, citing inflation and increases in the cost of living, while the federal government is offering nine per cent over three years.
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