OTTAWA, Aug. 13 (UPI) -- Parks Canada employees walked off the job Friday after two days of fruitless negotiations, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported.
The agency that manages Canada's national parks and historic sites vowed to keep its facilities open, spreading out a skeleton staff of managers. But, the CBC said at least two important tourist magnets were closed Friday -- Fortress Louisburg in Nova Scotia and the Rideau Canal in Ottawa.
The union set up rotating picket lines across the country.
Both sides say the major issue is wage increases for 4,800 unionized workers. Parks Canada has reportedly offered 3 percent annual hikes retroactive to August 2003, when the last contract expired, while the Public Service Alliance of Canada is seeking a 23 percent increase over three years.
Parks Canada manages hundreds of historic and natural treasures ranging from the Green Gables Historic Site on Prince Edward Island, the farmhouse where the fictional "Anne of Green Gables" lived, to parks covering thousands of square miles in the Rocky Mountains.