Protesters from several trade unions picketed a Glasgow Ikea store last Friday to demand the reinstatement of a union rep sacked for fighting cuts to workers’ conditions.
Richie Venton, an Usdaw union rep at the Braehead store, was dismissed after warning staff of planned changes to their rights.
The attacks will see many relying on statutory sick pay if they have coronavirus or have to self-isolate.
The changes mean Ikea workers with perfect attendance will only be entitled to their wages for the first ten days of sickness. This is short of the self-isolation period of two weeks.
A penalty points system dictates that if they have been absent more than twice in the previous year, they will go straight on to statutory sick pay.
The Usdaw branch said Venton “has always put the welfare of workers first”. It added, “We demand that Ikea immediately reinstate Richie Venton to his job and to his position as our elected union representative and stop their cuts to our conditions.
“If that does not happen immediately, we call on Usdaw to organise every possible form of action, including legal action and a vote for industrial action.”
Venton is a well-known socialist and member of the Scottish Socialist Party.
After a wave of outrage over Venton’s sacking, Ikea has promised it will pay contracted hours to all those self isolating.
But many staff members work far more than their contracted hours in an average week. They will be heavily penalised under the current company scheme.