#BoycottIKEA pickets strike again

The Ottawa crew
The Ottawa crew

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.

On social media, including Facebook and Twitter, the three info pickets earned praise and thank yous from the locked out workers at IKEA Richmond.

the team at IKEA Burlington
the team at IKEA Burlington

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.

info picket at IKEA North York
info picket 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.

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2 thoughts on “#BoycottIKEA pickets strike again

  1. “Several weeks ago, dozens of the members signed a petition calling for info pickets and a boycott of IKEA”

    Dozens? Wow, out of 300 members. A real ground swell there.

    Has Teamsters asked for the boycott? No? Then it’s not up to labour councils or other unions to tell them how to run their dispute.

    Unless of course, we agree that Teamsters don’t know how to represent their members. This lockout could have been over if Teamster didn’t keep demanding that the members that crossed the line be fired. A demand that could be found illegal if Ikea tried it.

  2. To be clear, I fully support the members in this case. But questions need to be asked of the Teamsters. They lost Rocky Mountaineer and they are going to lose Ikea. Why haven’t they asked for a boycott? Why isn’t Ikea’s latest offer public? The American leadership has been running this and aren’t listening to people on the ground.

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