You are analysing this from the wrong perspective - The public are never happy with strikes that affect their daily life. But the public are also smart enough to recognize that a strike is a political protest, and thus are willing to tolerate the inconvenience of it if they support the politics behind it or trust the government to handle it democratically.
Let's assume you are right that the striking Canadian Federal Officers are earning more than 45% of the average Canadian workers. Then the first question that most of the remaining 55% Canadian workers will obviously have is why do those with stable jobs, earning so much, have to strike?
Those striking have made clear demands:
- They want wage increases to keep pace with inflation.
- Better job security (protections against layoff, permanent employ instead of short-term contract hiring etc).
- Right to work remotely (from home or elsewhere).
For any worker, private or government, in low-paying or high-paying jobs, all these demands are quite reasonable as all workers desire the same too.
A wage increase that doesn't consider inflation can be practically meaningless as it won't improve your savings or quality of life. The increasing trend of hiring workers only on short-term contracts means both the government and private businesses can exploit workers by paying them lower wages - if anyone protests, they can be threatened that their contract won't be renewed. Those hired on contracts are also denied other benefits that regular workers are entitled to.
Diana, a striker in Mississauga, explained the challenges posed by the rising cost of living, commenting, “I don’t go out for dinner at all. I don’t go to movies any more. I literally don’t do anything any more. All I do is work, pay my bills, walk my dog in the park. There you go.”
... Asked what she thought of the government’s claim that it cannot afford to grant public servants a wage increase that keeps pace with inflation in light of its funnelling $650 billion to the banks, businesses and wealthy investors with no strings attached at the onset of the pandemic, Olivia replied, “Don’t we also deserve something? We served through the pandemic. We’re essential services. Everything from cradle to the grave. We’re asking for a humble raise.”
... “One thing the public doesn’t know is that our contracts expire and it takes years for them to get renegotiated. So we’re not negotiating our contracts before they expire any more like we did when I started 15 years ago. Now it’s four years before we’re renegotiating. So you can imagine the next one will be two or three years from now. This one expired in 2021,” he said.
"Right to work remotely" is a post-covid phenomena that has become quite popular. During the pandemic most of the world workforce was forced to work from homes. Canadian government officials were no exception. Thus, these Federal workers now claim that they have proved that it is very much possible to do their jobs from their home too, and hence should be allowed to work remotely too. For their own reasons, the government bureaucrats and private corporations are strongly against encouraging remote work. But it is very clear, around the world, that this is a very popular demand.
... Workers explained how their demand for the right to work remotely would help them achieve a better balance between their professional and family lives. They also pointed to the financial benefits under conditions in which their pay checks are stretched. “Thankfully we don’t have to drive if we’re working remotely. Otherwise you add another $500 for your car and $300 for gas,” stated Olivia. “That’s $800 just for transportation every month.”
... While refusing to make any concessions on the issue of remote work, the Trudeau government is cynically encouraging government workers to scab on the strike by working from home. According to a report in the Globe and Mail, government officials emphasized in press briefings that workers can continue to receive full pay during the strike by logging on to their work accounts remotely.
The average Canadian worker is smart enough to understand that if the government accommodates these demands, even partly or fully, it will have rippling effect in the private sector too. They can also see that the biggest objections against the unions, and their demands, come from the richer corporates. Unlike the Americans, Canadians don't have any delusions that governments should always prioritise corporate interests.
That brings us to the politics behind this strike.
The Trudeau government wanted to lay off many government staff, and replace them with fewer temporary contract workers as part of its austerity measures. If a government is allowed to do this with impunity, without any resistance, government workers rightly fear that this will lead to an erosion of their hard won rights. There are also questions if firing government workers is the best way to save some money.
Ordinary Canadian citizens thus recognise that the government is partly responsible for this mess and have poorly handled this issue. Political protests (like a strike) happen when the government doesn't democratically engage with all the stakeholders properly when implementing a policy. If the government gets carte blanche to lay off government workers, and hire fewer contract workers to replace them, this can become an entrenched norm in the private sector too. Which average Canadian worker will support less job security, more workload, less pay in their right mind?
Thus, from the above political perspective, it is easier to answer your doubts:
why did none of the unemployed Canadians and common taxpayers 1. protest against the strike which disrupts public services,
The citizens aren't against the strikes because they support the politics behind it and / or they don't like the current government's policy (i.e. they blame the government) or they trust the government to handle the issue, one way or the other.
- offer themselves as replacement to those federal workers,
In general, the legal system of most democratic nations don't allow the government to easily fire striking workers as it violates labour rights. So even if other jobless citizens offer themselves as replacement (assuming they are qualified), Canadian law may not allow the Trudeau government to hire them. Doing so also will negatively impact Trudeau's poll prospect in the future.
- have a healthy degree of public media presence?
Corporate backed media is already heavily critical of the strike and the unions. And it is in their interest to not give media presence to unemployed citizens as that can turn the political focus on unemployment. Then the debate may shift on to whether the current administration is favouring corporates.
Source: Strike by over 100,000 Canadian federal government workers continues for third day (21 April 2023)
(Note: I have deliberately chosen a "biased socialist" source that presents the striking workers side. If the Canadians are supporting, or not against, the strikers, it is obviously because they are swayed by their political arguments which only a "biased source" will detail).