Tuesday, July 9, 2013

IKEA locks out Teamsters for 8 weeks

Our brothers and sisters in British Columbia are standing strong against IKEA, which locked them out eight weeks ago. The furniture giant made a concessionary contract offer that 84 percent of the workers rejected.

David Halme writes in The Stand that IKEA now wants to bust the union:
More than 300 workers at IKEA here have been locked out of their jobs since May 15 when they rejected a company offer that included the imposition of a tiered wage structure. Teamsters Local 213 were thrilled June 5 when the British Columbia Labour Relations Board found IKEA guilty of using scab workers to keep the Richmond store open. 
Even though IKEA profits worldwide have consistently increased, they have a lousy reputation beyond Swedish borders. When on North American soil, IKEA treats their “co-workers” in a very different manner than they would dare in Sweden where the workforce is more than 70% unionized.
Teamsters local 213 tells us:
Store manager Janet McGowan set out further hardball tactics earlier in June in a letter stating that employees who didn’t come in to work would see their working conditions cut further by diminishing the already rejected offer in stages; starting June 3 by imposing a wage freeze and eliminating the lump and minor wage increase (1.5%). 
Here's a terrific news report about the lockout:

A recent youtube video (here) with images of the picket line includes this note:
Thank you for taking the time to watch this video 
This is not just about IKEA, this is about the labour movement and what is happening to working people.Using scab labor is the lowest business practice out there.
You can post a message of support on their Facebook page here.