The mood was upbeat as hundreds gathered in a show of solidarity for the striking workers.

A union leader of CUPE Local 1393, Kevin Johnson says the rally was a chance to say thank you. “Being on lines, I've heard from all sorts of people who never knew why people were called brothers and sisters now I do.”

According to the union, it's been 35 years since the local last went on strike

For most of the striking university workers, including Natasha Weibe, this is the first time they've ever walked a picket line.

She says she's tired but adds the community support has been a huge boost for morale. “I think it's changed me. I've been so humbled by people who have shown support. It's really opened my eyes.”

It’s almost three weeks since the strike began by almost 300 skilled trades and professional staff at the university.

The two sides went back to the table on Tuesday.

It’s unknown how negotiations are going as a media blackout remains in place.

Still, Johnson remains hopeful. “We’re all keeping our fingers crossed and hope they’re making progress. “

Meanwhile, a student led walk out in support of CUPE is planned for Friday through until Monday.