It’s 12 O’Clock, Have You Boycotted IKEA Yet Today?

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$3.85 billion in profit is just not enough. Union busting and global greed now!
Gratitude, then and now. It used to include a t-shirt and more, for all employees around the world. Now, union busting.

The best part of the Teamster Local 213 rally in Richmond on Saturday was the humanity: the stage was largely filled with Teamsters telling their stories, showing everyone how this 10 week lockout is affecting them as people, and the “humanity” that IKEA markets itself with around the world.

IKEA made $3.85 billion in profits in 2011. Its founder is worth $52 billion. In the past, the company has prided itself on a family atmosphere, but now they want to break the union in Richmond, BC, then they’ll likely go after the union at their Montreal store, then continue with union-busting in the United States.

You can read about the lockout here and here, then enjoy the human side of the global anti-worker agenda of the 1% in the 3 videos below.

Then, make sure you email IKEA Canada [for your email subject, choose “How us Improve (complaints)”] and phone your local IKEA at 1-866-866-4532 to let them know you are boycotting IKEA until they stop trying to break their unions in Richmond and everywhere. My email to IKEA is at the bottom. Feel free to plagiarize it in any way you like!

People Before Profits

Concessionary bargaining is ridiculous, which is what IKEA is after. They want newly hired employees to make less than current employees for doing the same work. They want to restrict access to benefits and contract out work.

This is simply greed: the global 1% not happy with almost $4 billion in profit in 2011. IKEA says they care about their workers, but it’s now profit before people.

Surveillance, IKEA-Style

When the RCMP monitor protests with video cameras and photos from vantage points up high, it is not that surprising. Watching IKEA’s security forces monitor the perimeter, and videotape and photograph the rally on Saturday, however, was a special new kind of corporate surveillance.

The IKEA “Family”: We Are the Many

Mark, one of the many, shares IKEA’s human principles, and how they are being perverted by corporate greed.

Theresa, shares her wisdom on gratitude and community and relationships.

Kenji, a new IKEA worker, on what solidarity looks like.

Victor, speaks about how new part-time workers can see their weekly hours can drift below 5 to zero

My Boycott Email to IKEA

I can’t remember how many thousands of dollars I’ve spent at IKEA in my life. It’s lots.

But now, for 10 weeks you’ve been locking out your workers. You want to reduce wages and benefits and contract out work.

Ikea made $3.85 billion in 2011. I’m pretty sure your greed is showing.

I will not shop at IKEA until you take all the concessions off the table and settle with your Teamsters local.

And this means I won’t shop at IKEA Coquitlam and I’m working to convince my friends and neighbours to boycott IKEA until you stop trying to pad your multi-billion dollar profit on the backs of your workers.

Get over yourselves and stop trying to break your union.


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Stephen Elliott-Buckley

Post-partisan eco-socialist. at Politics, Re-Spun
Stephen Elliott-Buckley is a husband, father, professor, speaker, consultant, former suburban Vancouver high school English and Social Studies teacher who changed careers because the BC Liberal Party has been working hard to ruin public education. He has various English and Political Science degrees and has been writing political, social and economic editorials since November 2002. Stephen is in Twitter, Miro and iTunes, and the email thing, and at his website,

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10 thoughts on “It’s 12 O’Clock, Have You Boycotted IKEA Yet Today?”

  1. On behalf of my “many” co-workers/ brothers and sisters of Ikea Richmond, we want to thank you for your support and in helping us spread the word……..Teresa

  2. The time and effort unionized workers spend on picketing, could have better spent on taking courses at BCIT and get better paying job.

    But of course, why work hard when you can just bargain your way to higher pay.

    1. that’s an interesting perspective. the thing about higher paying jobs is that the less people fight for a living wage, the more depressed wages get, which brings down wages across and between sectors, and encourages governments to stall the minimum wage for a decade like we just experienced in bc.

      1. People should also realize that majority of the workers are part-time employees are mostly students trying to supplement their increasing tuition fees, school supplies, rent, as well as daily needs trying to achieve their goal of landing a better job someday.

        I came into this country with a degree in psychology and because I did not study in this country, my level of education was snobbed by most companies I applied for in the past and in order for my degree to get recognized, I had to go back to school here and start all over again which I could not afford because I had younger siblings who relied on my help to finish their studies as well. I have friends who are lawyers, doctors and accountants who have not been able to get into their fields here because of such snobbery.

        I just wish people stop belittling retail employees because much like every other job out there it require skills. In most cases for us, it’s about PEOPLE SKILLS. Imagine having to put up with demanding and crazy people with higher education almost everyday and still give them the best customer service they can possibly get. It’s not a mindless job like everyone thinks it is.

    2. Well Josh, you seem to be one of the lucky ones to be able to support your education, unlike many that are not able to do that such as working parents, single parents, and the single adults that struggle to keep their families and themselves living on wages that companies like Ikea want to subject their employees to.
      I have an adult child to support through their own struggles of not being able to live on their own, while working, and going to college/university, albeit without student loans to pay back for the next 5/10 years.
      The choice for myself to return to school and attain a “better paying job” is out of the question, especially since I have worked in my position 19 years, so why should I bow down and accept an inferior contract offer from a company I gave 1/4th of my life to?
      Does employee loyalty mean anything to companies anymore? I’ve seriously doubted this considering all of my co-workers that struggle with wages that have only increased a measly 15% when inflation has increased 32%+.
      High paying jobs require hard work, and years of experience, not only an education, so when I’ve provided these things to my employer, I have a right to “expect” my wages to increase when they’re more than financially stable to provide their employees with a “living” wage. I only wish that you do not have to struggle through multiple employers on your pursuit to that higher paying job.
      Best of luck to you…..

  3. Just watching Ghandi……. it makes me thankful for those who can see beyond the pay to the power involved and wielded by large employers etc. Balance is always what needs to be kept. We need retail workers in this consumer society and whether people have education or not they have the right to a living wage and fair working conditions. But I do think it’s great that Josh went to BCIT and is now qualified to rank others efforts in life.

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