It was meant to be a show of solidarity and a message to the provincial government to return to bargaining, as BC Government and Service Employees' Union (BCGEU) workers in the Tri-Cities joined thousands of others for a one-day strike.
Pickets were set up at various sites around the Tri-Cities, including BC Liquor Stores, which were closed for the day, and the North Fraser Pretrial Centre in Port Coquitlam.
The issues being contested were as varied as the workers who fall under the BCGEU umbrella.
At the Port Coquitlam Signature Liquor Store in Westwood Centre, roughly 40 employees walked the picket lines for the day.
Wearing yellow BCGEU "On Strike" signs, the employees waved as drivers honked in support along Lougheed Highway.
Darla Little has worked with the branch for 15 years and is the store's shop steward.
She suggested the potential sell-off of the liquor distribution system is the biggest issue for striking workers at the store.
Earlier this year, the province announced it had plans to sell its liquor distribution warehouses and distribution services to the private sector.
Little argued the delivery of booze would be run by one private company, which would ultimately drive up the cost of alcohol.
She said BCGEU employees are also asking for a fair wage increase, noting the union accepted zero increases in the last contracts, as asked for by the province.
Little said workers just want an increase that would keep pace with prior contracts.
"We don't want to fall further behind," she said, adding that the PoCo store generates about $25 million a year in sales, and is one of the biggest in the system.
There were also more than a dozen prison workers on the picket line at the pretrial centre.
While the union representing jail guards didn't want its members outside the centre to speak to media on the record, one guard, who did not want his name used, did discuss the issues inside the prison with The NOW. The guard, who has been at the prison for more than a decade, said the conditions inside have deteriorated over the years, noting an increase in the number staff assaults and overcrowding.
He said some of the assaults include feces and urine being thrown at guards, adding he suffered a concussion while breaking up a fight between inmates.
He said part of the problem is the inmate to guard ratio, which started at 20: 1, and has now jumped to 60: 1.
The union has been calling on the province to either add more guards to bring down the ratio or implement rotational lockups, which essentially limit the number of inmates out in a unit at one time.
The prison was originally built for 300 inmates, but often houses 550 to 600.
Despite the problems, the guard maintained morale is high among staff.
"We look out for each other," he said.
Conditions at the jail have come under increased attention after two inmates died at the centre this year in separate incidents.
In all, more than 27,000 government employees walked off the job Wednesday, marking it one of the largest one-day strikes in years.
By Thursday, workers across the province were back on the job.