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Photos: A dry day for the city

New Westminster's government liquor stores were behind picket lines Wednesday as employees joined 25,000 B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union members in a oneday strike.

New Westminster's government liquor stores were behind picket lines Wednesday as employees joined 25,000 B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union members in a oneday strike.

The job action was aimed at sending a message to government about the need for a "fair and reasonable" settlement.

The BCGEU, which has been without a contract since March, is seeking a collective agreement that includes a 3.5 per cent wage increase in the first year and a cost of living increase in the second year.

Shirley Bond, who temporarily served as B.C.'s finance minister after Kevin Falcon's resignation last week, issued a statement saying the government has made offers of two per cent in the first year and 1.5 per cent in the second year of the agreement, and suggested that further increases would be unaffordable.

More than 700 government worksites in 153 communities were behind picket lines on Wednesday, but the union kept essential service levels maintained so British Columbians weren't impacted by the job action - the union's first full-out job action in more than two decades.

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