British Columbia

Ikea strike: Vince Ready called in to settle 17-month-old dispute

Fresh off his success resolving the B.C. teachers' strike, mediator Vince Ready has agreed to mediate another high-profile B.C. labour dispute —the 17 month strike at the Richmond Ikea.
Mediator Vince Ready has been called in to settle the 17-month-old Ikea strike. (CBC)

Fresh off his success resolving the B.C. teachers' strike, mediator Vince Ready has agreed to mediate another high-profile B.C. labour dispute —the 17 month strike at the Richmond Ikea.

Anita Dawson, the spokesperson for Teamsters Local 213, says the union is hopeful Ready can find a way to break the impasse, just like he did in the bitter teachers' dispute.

"Obviously, that was extremely high profile. I mean Vince Ready's a very well-recognized mediator in B.C. and Canada, so hopefully, he's got some creative ideas that the parties will be able to look at the options and some of the outstanding issues that we've got to deal with," said Dawson.

About 350 employees were locked out of the store on May 13, 2013 and the union says there's been no bargaining since last December.

The outstanding issues include wages, benefits and the status of union members who crossed a picket line, said Dawson.

The Richmond store is one of only two unionized Ikea outlets in the country.

During the strike, management at the store and some employees have been keeping it open on a limited scale.

Recently, the provincial Labour Relations Board ruled the company had been bargaining in bad faith and violated labour laws when it tried to bargain directly with striking workers through a website posting.

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