BAC Stands in Solidarity with CUPE Brothers and Sisters
On July 7th, more than 600 members of Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Local 1816 were locked out by their employer, Pacific Blue Cross, after the company decided to cut retiree benefits for current employees. BAC Local 2 British Columbia members walked the picket line in solidarity with CUPE brothers and sisters, saying no to proposed benefit cuts and demanding the Pacific Blue Cross CEO Jan Grude to get back to the bargaining table.
The two-month strike led to a six-year collective bargaining agreement signed on September 9th that includes an annual wage increase, retiree benefits preservation, and establishment of a health and welfare trust to be managed by joint union-management trustees. On September 18th, CUPE Local 1816 members employed by Pacific Blue Cross returned to work.
“Though it’s a long and difficult struggle for brothers and sisters of CUPE, together we finally made it through and achieved a new contract. This is what labor organizing looks like,” said BAC Local 2 British Columbia President Geoff Higginson.
From left, BAC Local 2 British Columbia President Geoff Higginson, and CUPE members Heather, John, Albert, Jason, Louis and Reginald on the picket line in July.