More than 1,300 Insurance Corporation of British Columbia staff members are going on strike next Wednesday.
The union held a day of action last week, as well, with approximately 1,500 claims staff participating in the strike.
Next week's day of action will be done by a new group of strikers, according to a press release from the Burnaby-based Canadian Office and Professional Employees Union, Local 378, and will primarily affect Lower Mainland locations, including five in Burnaby and two in New Westminster.
"Our bargaining team has met with the employer, and ICBC said they're still not willing to budge on wages. Their proposals put our members far behind the rising cost of living," COPE 378 president David Black stated in the release. "It's ridiculous; ICBC has the money. They've increased payments to executives and business partners and, on top of that, they're giving $1.2 billion to government."
Staff members from the Burnaby Driver Service Centre, Burnaby Collision Learning Centre, Burnaby Warehouse Records Centre, and Burnaby Greater Vancouver East and Burnaby Metrotown Expressway centres are participating in the day of action.
Staff from the last two locations will be striking at other locations, due to logistical concerns, the release stated.
In New Westminster, staff from the New Westminster litigation centre and New Westminster LM Salvage will also be on strike.
The union has agreed to maintain essential service levels during the day of action, Mark Jan Vrem, media manager for ICBC, said in a phone interview.
"Some customers may have to wait a little bit longer, and we do apologize for that," he said. "Our centres will be open next Wednesday."
Jan Vrem said he could not comment specifically on negotiations, but added the union and the employer did have meetings last week, though he wasn't sure when the next ones were scheduled.
Last Tuesday's strike took place at 55 locations throughout B.C., including the Burnaby Claims and the Burnaby Litigation/Commercial Claims centres and the New Westminster Claims Centre.
The union participated in a strike with the B.C. Government and Service Employees' Union and the Professional Employees Association on Sept. 5, as well.
COPE 378 members voted 87 per cent in favour of job action on April 24.
But ICBC made an essential service application to the B.C. Labour Relations Board on April 19, suspending the union's ability to take action.
The board then handed down an interim order on June 13. The union could take job action with 48 hours' notice, "if the job action does not dip below the essential service levels applied for by ICBC."
ICBC has asked that claims, insurance and driver licensing services be declared essential during any potential job action. The order is in place until the board issues a final order after the essential service hearings are finished.
ICBC's collective agreement expired in June 2010. The two parties have been in negotiations since January 2011.