The Nelson ICBC claim centre at 86 Baker Street.

The Nelson ICBC claim centre at 86 Baker Street.

Nelson ICBC office not impacted by next week’s strike

ICBC employees across the province will be on the picket lines, but the three staff at the Nelson Claims Centre will not join them

ICBC employees across the province will be on the picket lines next Tuesday, but the three staff at the Nelson Claims Centre will not join them

On Tueday afternoon, the Canadian Office and Professional Employees Union, Local 378 (COPE 378) announced that more than 1,500 members at 55 claims-related Insurance Corporation of BC (ICBC) locations will be taking strike action.

Though the Nelson office is listed on the locations across the province on strike, all three local employees are deemed essential services and will not be walking the line.

“That’s an absolute anomaly,” said COPE 378 spokesperson Sage Aaron.

The Nelson office is located at #6-86 Baker Street.

COPE 378 ICBC President David Black said it is never an easy decision to take strike action.

“These are employees who have been without a contract for over two years,” Black stated in a press release. “Their wages are falling behind, while ICBC executives and business partners got massive salary increases and $1.2 billion of ICBC profits went into government revenues.”

ICBC employees across the province joined in coordinated strike action last Wednesday with the BC Government Employees’ Union and the Professional Employees Association. COPE 378 was hoping the employer’s tact would change, but Black said it hasn’t.

Nearly 1,200 workers will be on strike in the Lower Mainland and the remaining 300 will be in communities throughout the rest of BC. This latest job action is part of an escalating strategy aimed at getting talks going.

ICBC’s last offer was a two per cent wage increase over a four year contract, far below the rising cost of living.

“Our members felt it was very important to take another day of action so they could talk to the public about how the government is mishandling ICBC, not just for the workers but also for drivers that haven’t seen a rate reduction in years,” said Black.