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.
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.
Ikea, that family-friendly darling of home decor and Swedish innocence is trying to break its union, Teamsters Local 213.
They have locked out their Richmond, BC workers for two months now, while deciding to bargain in reverse: Start with a pathetic offer, then as time goes by, if locked out workers don’t come back, the concessions and contract stripping INCREASE!
By the way, Ikea’s 2011 profit was $3.85 billion. Profit, not revenue. Again, not enough money for the family-owned company! Its founder is worth $52 billion.
Tia reviewed Ikea’s anti-social shenanigans when the lockout hit Day 17. Her piece detailed some of the issues and helped us understand what we can do to help the workers while Ikea tries to smash their union here, before likely taking on their only other unionized store in Canada, in Montreal. This lockout is also an attempt to undermine other union organizing drives, despite the 70% unionization rate of Ikea workers in Sweden.
And here are a few other things we should keep in mind.
The BC minimum wage is $10.25/hour, but less if you get tips on the job, minimum wage is $9/hour. This increase in 2012 came after the minimum wage was frozen at $8 for a decade under the business-friendly government.
In Washington, DC, the city council passed a living wage by-law [see below] DESPITE Walmart [Ikea’s labour relations mentor] threatening to cancel 3 stores planned for the area.
Should the bill be signed by Mayor Vincent C. Gray (D) and pass a congressional review period, retailers with corporate sales of $1 billion or more and operating in spaces 75,000 square feet or larger would be required to pay employees no less than $12.50 an hour. The city’s minimum wage is $8.25, a dollar higher than the federal minimum wage.