ICBC Blocks Union’s Communication With Its Members



BURNABY – The Insurance Corporation of BC has blocked all email communication between its employees and their union, revealed the Canadian Office and Professional Employees Union, local 378 (MoveUP). This came after MoveUP issued 48 hour notice of a new job action—changing email signatures.

“All along we’ve said that we’re committed to targeted job action that doesn’t put the public in the middle of our dispute with ICBC and the government,” said MoveUP President David Black. “Our new job action simply adds a slogan and link to all email signatures. We want B.C. drivers to know they’re being overcharged for insurance by this government and that ICBC isn’t treating their employees fairly.”

The slogan is We Work. You Drive. We Both Deserve Better. The slogan refers to the fact that ICBC has increased compensation to its business partners and the provincial government is taking $1.2 billion from ICBC’s revenue, but drivers still pay too much and the Corporation and government aren’t willing to entertain a cost of living increase for ICBC employees. The link (http://bit.ly/work-drive) redirects to the union’s website where these issues are explained in depth.

“We’re in the same position as BC drivers,” said Black. “We’re just looking for fair and reasonable treatment. And we’re not pulling people off the job; we’re giving drivers information. It’s unbelievable ICBC would react by trying to cut off communication with our members.”

The BC Liberals have admitted that ICBC is overcapitalized. In 2010, when the provincial government acknowledged it intended to take $778 million out of ICBC, then-Finance Minister Colin Hansen said:
"… ICBC is overcapitalized on the optional insurance side, and we’re saying that is funding that should be transferred to the shareholder."

MoveUP’s research shows ICBC could easily reduce each Optional insurance policy by $35 and still agree to the union’s bargaining proposals.

“Unfortunately, this is the kind of treatment we’ve come to expect from ICBC and the government,” said Black. “They have money to give to executives, lawyers, brokers and autobody shops. They have shocking amounts of money to funnel into government’s coffers. But they have nothing for B.C. drivers or ICBC employees—and now it seems they sure don’t want the public to know that.”

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Media contact: Sage Aaron, saaron@moveuptogether.ca