Vancouver - Premier Christy Clark’s plan to siphon tens of millions of dollars in funds for injured workers and gift it to employers is an outrageous political move and comes at a time when more needs to be done to keep workers safe on the job and fairly compensate those who are killed or injured, charges BC Federation of Labour President Irene Lanzinger.
The move on WCB funds was announced late this morning and would take effect after the May 9 provincial election.
“The money that the government and employers are appropriating should instead be used to improve benefits for workers killed and injured on the job that were slashed by the BC Liberals,” Lanzinger says.
“On the job, workers’ daily experience is that government and employers aren’t doing enough to keep them safe,” Lanzinger says. “Health and safety protections are weak and not always rigorously enforced. Worker safety is being compromised. Injured workers aren’t fairly compensated, and employers whose negligence kills or seriously injures workers are let off with a slap on the wrist.”
A worker hurt on the job pays a 10% penalty on their take home pay under current WCB rules.
“We argue that rather than lining employers’ pockets, surplus funds should be used to make work safer, for tougher regulations and more stringent enforcement,” says Lanzinger.