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Report by UFCW and allies slams IKEA over lockout in Richmond, BC


UFCW and other members of a fact-finding commission have released a report slamming IKEA's "radical anti-worker agenda that opposes unionization campaigns and encourages union decertification."

The report comes in the wake of a lockout of Teamsters union members at an IKEA store in Richmond, B.C., after the workers refused to accept a concessionary contract. The commission, which held hearings in B.C. in November, included representation from UFCW Canada, as well as other labour allies including UNI Global Union, the Teamsters, the Nordic Transport Workers' Federation, and the International Transport Workers Association (ITWA).

The 300 workers have been locked out since May, but were invited to return to work if they were willing to accept a contract they had already voted down. The commission reported that IKEA had also directed workers to an anti-union website that supplies information on how to organize a decertification campaign.

The commission was formed by the ITWA and UNI Global Union. UFCW is the key affiliate to UNI Commerce in North America. In its conclusion, the fact-finding commission recommended IKEA end the lockout and immediately return to good-faith bargaining; stop its union-busting tactics; and to show the same respect it does at its Sweden stores for unions and fair collective bargaining.

"Their Swedish values appear to have gone down the drain, at least over here," said one of the workers to the commission. "We just want to go back to our jobs and to negotiate," said Keith Austin, another of the locked out members. "But we refuse to accept the sweeping and humiliating deteriorations the company is trying to force us to accept. We refuse to surrender to IKEA's threats."

  • ufcw [at] ufcw247 [dot] com