IKEA Richmond workers' union wins case in latest 14 month long labour dispute issue

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IKEA / Shutterstock

The cafeteria and other select services at IKEA Richmond have been closed for more than 14 months as part of the flagship location’s reduced operations due to the prolonged strike and lockout.

There has been no bargaining since December 2013, but the latest ruling by the provincial government’s Labour Relations Board sides with the union over unfair labour practice complaints that the Swedish company is offering monetary incentives for those who cross the picket lines.

IKEA issued a website posting that gave locked-out employees the option of a raise of $2.50 per hour, in addition to other unspecified weekend premiums and benefits if they decide to cross the picket lines.

“The LRB found that IKEA was trying to induce the Union members to abandon the Union and bypass the exclusive bargaining agent rights of the Teamsters Union,” writes Teamsters 213.

The ruling orders IKEA to remove the website information which is effectively an attempt to bargain directly with employees and bypass the exclusive bargaining agent rights of the Teamsters Union.

IKEA employees who are not affected by the union-led labour dispute are working beyond their responsibilities due to the reduced staffing levels. Approximately 350 full-time and part-time employees have been locked out since the labour dispute began.

Meanwhile, the employees who have crossed the picket lines to return to work have been expelled from union membership. The Labour Relations Board has also ordered IKEA to cease paying monetary incentives to workers who crossed the picket lines.

In 2012, IKEA opened its new $100 million, 334,000 square foot flagship store in Richmond, adjacent to the site of the now-demolished previous building at Sweden Way. Due to the ongoing strike, the store has reportedly been under-performing significantly. 

 

Featured Image: IKEA via Shutterstock

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