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BCLRB Ruling - No. B136/2014 - IKEA and Teamsters Union 213

BCLRB Ruling - No. B136/2014 - IKEA and Teamsters Union 213

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My view is that offering better terms and conditions to employees who remained at work or who cross the picket line to work for an employer during the labour dispute has the same effect. Offering premium pay for employees who cross the picket line is an inducement to the Union’s members to abandon the labour dispute and the Union. The Employer has demonstrated anti-union animus, and its actions are a violation of Section 6(3)(d) of the Code.
My view is that offering better terms and conditions to employees who remained at work or who cross the picket line to work for an employer during the labour dispute has the same effect. Offering premium pay for employees who cross the picket line is an inducement to the Union’s members to abandon the labour dispute and the Union. The Employer has demonstrated anti-union animus, and its actions are a violation of Section 6(3)(d) of the Code.

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Published by: Langley Teachers' Association on Jul 29, 2014
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BCLRB No. B136/2014
BRITISH COLUMBIA LABOUR RELATIONS BOARD
IKEA CANADA LIMITED PARTNERSHIP (the “Employer”) -and- TEAMSTERS LOCAL UNION NO. 213 (the "Union") . PANEL: Bruce R. Wilkins, Associate Chair,  Adjudication  APPEARANCES: David T. McDonald, for the Employer Bryan W. Savage, for the Union CASE NO.: 67235 DATE OF DECISION: July 24, 2014
 
 - 2 - BCLRB No. B136/2014
DECISION OF THE BOARD
I. NATURE OF THE APPLICATION
1
 
The Union alleges the Employer is offering terms and conditions of employment to employees who cross the picket line which have never been offered to the Union. It further alleges these terms and conditions are better than those offered to the Union. The Union takes the position that in doing so the Employer has breached Sections 5, 6, 11 and 47 of the
Labour Relations Code
(the “Code”). II. BACKGROUND FACTS
2
 
The Union alleges the following facts in its application, which the Employer does not dispute:
The Union has been certified to represent the employees of IKEA Canada Limited Partnership at the Richmond, British Columbia location since June 26, 1981. At the commencement of the labour dispute in May 2013 there were approximately 300 employees in the bargaining unit. The managerial exclusions numbered approximately 35. The most recent collective agreement had a term of January 1, 2007 to December 31, 2012. On March 15 and 17, 2013 the Union first voted a Company offer. That offer was rejected by 96%. The Offer from the Employer included (but not limited to) the following: 1. A new two tier wage system. 2. Reduction in the number of people eligible for full time or a guarantee of 30 hours a week. 3. Reduction in benefits. 4. Increase in the number of hours needed in order to qualify for health benefits. 5. Elimination of short term disability. 6. Reduction in long term disability. 7. Reduction of paramedical coverage. 8. Elimination of the cleaner classification. 9. Reduction of statutory holidays.  After this rejection the Employer made one revision to its offer. The retro pay proposal was changed to a one time lump sum payment
 
 - 3 - BCLRB No. B136/2014
of $500.00. The Union again voted the Employer's Memorandum on May 5, 2013. This offer was rejected by 83%. The Employer then applied for a Last Offer vote pursuant to Section 78 of the
Code
. That vote was held on May 8 and 9, 2013 at the IKEA store in Richmond. It was rejected by an 84% majority. After the ballots were cast but before the results of the vote were known the Employer served Lockout Notice with the Union simultaneously serving Strike Notice with each Notice being effective on Monday, May 13, 2013. On Monday, May 13, 2013 at 8:30 a.m. over the store's p.a. system the Employer announced that it was commencing a lockout of Teamster Members who worked at the Richmond location. When the Employer announced the implementation of the lockout at 8:30 a.m. all but approximately 32 of the employees who were working at the store at the time left to establish a picket line. At 9:30 a.m. the Employer purported to lift the lockout and invited the picketing employees back to work alongside those who had remained in the store. Over the course of the following days an additional three employees returned or accepted the Employer's invitation to return to work for a total, to the Union's knowledge, of 35 co-workers who have continued to work during the labour dispute. It was the Union's understanding, from an Employer letter dated May 14, 2013, that the terms and conditions offered to those employees willing to work during the labour dispute were the same conditions proposed in the Last Offer vote that was rejected by 84% of the bargaining unit on May 9, 2013. The picketing that commenced on May 13 continues 24/7 to the present.  After the lockout began on May 13, 2013 no further bargaining sessions were immediately scheduled. However, correspondence did pass between the Parties with respect to bargaining positions. On May 29, 2013, the Employer sent a memo to all bargaining unit employees. The Employer stated that the offer which had been rejected by the members would be open to any employee who crossed the picket line prior to 5:00 p.m. June 3, 2013. After this date the employer's offer would be changed to reflect the following: 1) The lump sum payment of $500 would be withdrawn and a one year wage freeze would be imposed on all co-workers. 2) If Employees had not accepted the offer by June 8, 2013 there would be a reduction in paramedical and prescription coverage: and, 3) If there was no settlement by June 13, 2013 the paid sick days of employees would be reduced as well. This correspondence eventually led to an agreement to have Mark Brown attempt to mediate a resolution of the dispute. Mr. Brown met with the Parties on Saturday, July 13 and Tuesday, July 23,

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