On July 12, three separate info pickets hit IKEA stores in Ottawa, Toronto, and Burlington in solidarity with the locked out workers of IKEA Richmond. It was the second round of info pickets in less than a month. Over 300 members of Teamsters Local 213 have been locked out for over 14 months because they are resisting concessions on wages and benefits. Several weeks ago, dozens of the members signed a petition calling for info pickets and a boycott of IKEA.
Info pickets handed out hundred of flyers explaining the lock out, and asking shoppers not to shop at the multinational corporation which made record profits in 2013.
At each action, security or police were quick to boot pickets off IKEA property but this allowed info pickets to back up traffic by carrying out slow crossings of public crosswalks and handing out hundreds of flyers.
In Ottawa, a team of fifteen from various unions, including CUPE, COPE, PSAC, Unifor, and CUPW, handed out 800 flyers to drivers or put them under the windshield wipers of parked cars. A number of customers said they wouldn’t return to IKEA until the lock out was over. Members of OSSTF and OPSEU were also on the picket lines at IKEA North York.
Future actions will happen again, but a date has yet to be set. In the meantime, labour activists can bring motions to their unions and labour councils to endorse the boycott. You can download a model motion here.