Friday, November 22, 2013

IKEA lockout of Teamsters drawing international concern

Our locked-out Teamster sisters in front of
Richmond IKEA.
The world is starting to watch IKEA's 6-month lockout of 350 of our Teamster brothers and sisters in Richmond, British Columbia. The Swedish furniture retailer claims to be pro-family and pro-worker. But its brutal treatment of Teamster Local 213 members is raising concerns about IKEA's attacks on workers at stores throughout the world.

A new website,, tells the story. On May 15, Teamsters rejected a company offer that included the imposition of a tiered wage structure. IKEA locked them out without pay to force them to accept pay and benefit cuts. Three weeks later, Canadian labor officials found IKEA guilty of using scab workers to keep the Richmond store open.

The lockout dragged on, and on Nov. 7 an international fact-finding mission visited locked-out IKEA workers in Richmond. What they found concerned them deeply. The international labor leaders proclaimed the ongoing dispute was now under the gaze of the wider labor movement.  The Tyee reported,
The increasingly-fractious, six month labour dispute at IKEA's big box store in Richmond may be on the verge of a dramatic escalation -- all the way to Europe.
Today, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters announced the launch of the new website in a statement.
"The company I have grown up to love and admire has become one big corporate machine, at least in North America," said IKEA Richmond employee Julia Buczek. "It is upsetting to see that the original Swedish values that we have all looked up to and regarded in such a positive way are just going down the drain."
Left Labor Reporter tells us the IKEA in Canada is busting the union -- and it isn't the only bad behavior by IKEA management.
The lockout, which has lasted longer than any other labor dispute with IKEA anywhere else in the world, the company’s take it or leave it attitude, and its efforts to coax union members to cross the picket line and return to work all suggest that IKEA in Richmond wants to be union free. 
In Turkey, after workers voted to form a union, IKEA went of its way not to recognize the workers’ union. 
In France, police are questioning two IKEA executives about illegally spying on IKEA workers and customers. According to, the former head of risk management at IKEA France has already been charged with bribing police to obtain “car registration numbers and names connected with a list of mobile phone numbers” of union members who work for IKEA in France.
You can help locked-out IKEA Teamsters in several ways:
  • Visit website.
  • Post a supportive comment on the IKEA workers' Facebook page
  • Attend a rally tomorrow. Here are the details: 
    DATE: SATURDAY November 23rd, 2013
      TIME: 1PM
        PLACE: Very close to the IKEA Coquitlam store,(1000 Lougheed Hwy).
            Contact Info: Anita Dawson 604-876-5213