MoveUP Members at FortisBC Electric Issue 88% Strike Vote

September 24, 2012

Strong Vote In Opposition to Employer’s Attacks on Benefits

The Canadian Office and Professional Employees Union, local 378 (MoveUP) today announced that its members at FortisBC Inc. (Electric) have given the union a 88 per cent strike vote.

“The strength of this vote is because of the employer’s attempt to attack our benefits,” said MoveUP Senior Union Representative Brad Bastien. “They’ve put forward packages for employees and retirees that are significantly worse than what we have now.”

FortisBC Inc. is proposing “flex” benefit plans for employees and retirees that Bastien calls a “don’t-get-too-sick” system, as anyone requiring multiple types of services in a short period of time would find it difficult to get the coverage they need. The employer argues their proposed plan offer flexibility but in actuality what they offer is less coverage for fewer services.

For example, the proposed retiree plan has half the lifetime maximum of the current plan and completely eliminates coverage for MSP, vision care, emergency medical services, basic life insurance, and paramedical services like chiropractor or physiotherapy.

“This is no way to treat people who spend years working hard for you. We’re hoping this strike mandate will make that crystal clear to the employer,” Bastien added.

MoveUP represents 145 members in five different Thompson-Okanagan and Kootenay communities. The union represents 48 members in Kelowna, 81 members in Trail, two in Penticton, six in Oliver and eight members in South Slocan. MoveUP’s members perform inside work at FortisBC Inc. (Electric) including office administration, IT, design, planning, project coordination and analysis.


Media Contact: Sage Aaron, 604-317-6153,