Friday, December 13, 2013

Teamsters take IKEA fight to Sweden

Teamster Keith Austin in Sweden.
Teamsters and members of four other international labor unions are getting plenty of media attention in Sweden as they expose IKEA's abuse of its workers in Canada.

They came armed with a report that describes how far IKEA departed from its original Swedish values. The company locked out more than 300 workers at its Richmond store without pay for more than six months. Now IKEA is trying to smear them because they exercised their legal right to vote down IKEA’s demand they accept a discriminatory two-tiered wage system and cut-off of health care benefits.

The report calls on IKEA to end its lockout and end its use of anti-union lawyers at the bargaining table.
The media coverage is all in Swedish, naturally, but we have a translation of one item from TT News, which reports:

Employees at an Ikea store in Vancouver has been without a job and salary for seven months.
The delegation to Sweden included: 

  • Keith Austin, a locked-out IKEA Richmond store worker;
  • Grant Coleman, Teamsters Canada;
  • Peter L√∂vkvist, Nordic Transport Federation;
  • Erin van der Maas, International Transport Workers’ Federation;
  • Tim Beaty, International Brotherhood of Teamsters; and
  • Mathias Bolton, UNI Global Union

  • Follow their struggle at the website.