BCGEU strike in Maple Ridge
Provincial government employees staged their largest one-day strike so far Wednesday to press for a bigger wage increase, with two thirds of the workforce off the job at ministry offices, liquor stores and ICBC offices province-wide.
Both the government and the B.C. Government and Services Employees' Union remained unwilling to budge from their positions after negotiations broke down over wage increases this spring. The union executive is meeting next week to consider further strike action this fall.
There was a lone protestor in Maple Ridge Wednesday morning.
Bruce Rawlings, a stock worker at a production distribution centre in Port Coquitlam for the Ministry of Citizens’ Services and Open Government, caught the attention of drivers along Lougheed Highway by carrying a large yellow BCGEU flag and wearing a "on strike" sign around his neck.
Two earlier one-day strikes targeted liquor warehouses and then selected resource ministry offices in the B.C. Interior. Government negotiators offered raises of two and 1.5 per cent for the next two years, then withdrew the offer after the union staged the first strike.