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VANCOUVER - Striking B.C. ambulance paramedics gathered outside the Vancouver Trade and Convention centre at Noon yesterday to protest government inaction. Inside, B.C. Liberals gathered for a $125-per-plate luncheon with Premier Gordon Campbell.

More than 1,000 union members and supporters were on hand for a $1.25 Workers’ Lunch hosted by the B.C. Federation of Labour.

The members of CUPE 873 passed out information postcards to arriving B.C. Liberal supporters. Some praised the work the paramedics do, while others refused to take or read information on the deterioration of ambulance services in B.C. Some CUPE 873 members called on the largely business-oriented diners to remember the paramedics’ situation the next time they call 911 for an ambulance.

The province’s 3,500 ambulance paramedics have been on strike for a week to back demands for adequate staffing levels and wage parity with other emergency response workers. The government has called for a 90-day delay in bargaining, while the paramedics want to get to the negotiating table now.

At the Workers’ Lunch, B.C. Fed president Jim Sinclair accused the B.C. Liberals of failing to deal with fundamental issues affecting British Columbians, including rising tuition fees, raw log exports and the lowest minimum wage in the country.

Contact:  Murray Bush, 604.291.1940