COPE Union 378 members walk along 48th Avenue in front of the ICBC claims centre in Vernon Tuesday morning as part of the union's on-day strike

COPE Union 378 members walk along 48th Avenue in front of the ICBC claims centre in Vernon Tuesday morning as part of the union's on-day strike

ICBC workers on strike today

COPE Union 378 members at ICBC striking today at 55 claim centres, including Vernon

  • Sep. 18, 2012 8:00 p.m.

ICBC workers in Vernon walked off the job today.

Staff at 55 claims-related Insurance Corporation of B.C. locations across the province are striking today, including in Vernon.

“We haven’t been on strike at ICBC in over thirty years, but this is about fundamentals. It’s about saying you can’t ask hard-working people to go two years without a basic fair contract,” said David Black, COPE 378 president.

“Drivers are part of this picture. They’re the other group that’s being unfairly treated by having to accept rate hikes while the government takes $1.2 billion of ICBC’s profits.”

  • COPE 378 members at ICBC have been without a contract for over two years.
  • Approximately 1,600 members are on strike at 55 claims-related locations across BC for one day, September 18. COPE represents 4,600 members at ICBC in total.
  • The BC Liberal government has siphoned millions of ICBC profits each year for general revenue. The government’s 2012 budget and fiscal plan states that they will take $1.174 billion from ICBC between 2010 and 2014.
  • ICBC has increased compensation for auto body shops, lawyers, and other professionals who have contracts with ICBC (see table below).
  • ICBC workers haven’t received an increase in wages or benefits since 2009.
  • Drivers have not seen substantial rate reductions in over 5 years.
  • COPE 378 members at ICBC haven’t been on strike in over 30 years.

“Basically everyone who does business with ICBC – lawyers, doctors, body shops – has received pay increases, not to mention the staggering increases that went to management,” said Black.

“When you add that to the $1.2 billion in dividends ICBC gave government, it makes it hard to argue there’s no way they can afford to lower rates for drivers or give employees a fair deal.”

ICBC’s last offer was a two per cent wage increase over a four-year contract.

Premier Christy Clark has initiated a net-zero mandate for unions.