The Labour Relations Board has reprimanded Richmond’s IKEA for what the union representing striking workers calls bargaining in bad faith.
Teamsters local 213’s Anita Dawson says the LRB ruled it was out of bounds for IKEA to offer money to striking workers to cross the picket line and return to work.
“It is bargaining in bad faith and IKEA has been ordered to pay damages for the amount of money that was paid over and above what was last offered to the workers that are on the picket line. Further more IKEA has also been ordered to cease and desist from paying any enhanced wages to the people that are inside the store who cross the picket line to work.”
Dawson doesn’t know how much the damages will total up.
“On the IKEA website they said they were paying $2.50 an hour more for workers. We weren’t even asking for anywhere near that. We were just looking to maintain what we had in the old collective agreement. Now we are seeing that IKEA was going in and saying oh yeah we can give you $2.50 an hour more if you cross the picket line to work, very anti-union.”
A statement from an IKEA representative indicates the company plans to challenge the ruling, based partly on a claim it is an individual employee’s choice to cross a picket line.
It’s also suggesting workers who have crossed over are getting paid more because they have a heavier workload.
IKEA adds it wants to return to the bargaining table but must wait for the Labour Relations Board processes to conclude.
The two sides haven’t bargained since December of 2013.
The labour dispute affecting about 350 employees who have been locked out is now in its 15th month.