BC Injured Workers Give Our Workers’ Compensation System a Failing Grade

Vancouver, BC – The B.C. Federation of Labour marked Injured Workers’ Day with a renewed call for improvements to BC’s workers’ compensation system and a restoration of benefits for injured workers.

The B.C. Federation of Labour and its affiliates recognize June 1 as Injured Workers’ Day in BC. This is an important day to highlight the ongoing fight for the restoration of dignity, respect and justice for injured workers.

“Workers’ Compensation Boards across Canada have buckled to corporate pressure to cut benefits and compensation in order to lower premiums,” said Jim Sinclair, President of the B.C. Federation of Labour. These one-sided changes leave injured workers without adequate coverage, directly in contravention of the principles set out by Sir Chief Justice Meredith in what’s known as the “historic compromise” agreed to by labour and business over 100 years ago.”

Approximately 100 injured workers, advocates and supporters from around the province gathered on Friday, May 31st in Vancouver to examine how BC’s Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) measured up to Meredith’s Principles. The result was a resounding ‘F’ on all six principles!

BC’s injured workers and the B.C. Federation of Labour demand that the BC government immediately amend the Workers Compensation Act to reflect Meredith’s Principles.
“Injured workers will no longer accept ‘half measures,’”said Patti MacAhonic, Advisor for the Canadian Injured Workers’ Alliance (CIWA). “Injured workers and survivors in BC are organizing for action, in alliance with injured workers across Canada.”

CIWA BC representative Beverly McKeen further stated that “an injury to one is an injury to all.”

For more information on Meredith’s principles please visit www.meredith100.ca.

Injured Workers’ Day commemorates the events of June 1, 1983, when over three thousand Ontario injured workers, family members and advocates traveled to Queen's Park to oppose the Ontario government’s proposal to eliminate the permanent disability pension. The Ontario government retracted its proposal as a result of the outcry from injured workers on this day.