International team investigates IKEA dispute in Canada

8 Nov 2013

An international fact-finding team is investigating a dispute at Swedish retail giant IKEA’s store in Richmond, Canada. The four-strong team arrived this week to examine the situation at the store, where 350 workers have been locked out by the company, and will then report its findings back to a Swedish and international audience.

The team met with workers and labour market experts, ahead of their participation in a public commission of inquiry alongside workers’ representatives, community leaders and experts such as British Columbia Federation of Labour president Jim Sinclair.

Peter Lövkvist, federation secretary of the Nordic Transport Workers’ Federation (NTF) is heading the team. He explained: “It is now over 180 days since workers at the Richmond store, all of whom are members of Teamsters Local 213, were locked out by IKEA. We consider it extremely urgent that this situation is investigated both as a local matter and in relation to what it means for labour relations throughout IKEA’s global operations. On completion of this mission we will then report our findings to regulators in Sweden and to all countries in which the company conducts business.”

The fact-finding team comprises: Peter Lövkvist; Michael Toal, UNI Global Union commerce representative;  Erin van der Maas, ITF strategic industrial project coordinator; and Tim Beaty, director of global strategies for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.

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