Analysis: Why so much depends on a fight at Glasgow Ikea
12th October 2020
An Article from Source Direct.
"Employers will be watching what's going on at Ikea, to see if they can get away with attacking their own trade unionists."
IN THE WEEKS after the Coronavirus pandemic and lockdown first gripped Europe and the UK, much was made of frontline workers. Those who kept the economy turning over were lavished with praise, not least by those in government.
In the UK, Prime Minister Boris Johnson claimed that no government in living memory had done more to protect workers, whom he applauded from his door step. Corporations too made much of their workforces through sentimental advertising campaigns describing them as ‘heroes'.
But even as the praise was lavished, workers suffered mass redundancies and worsening conditions. Perhaps the most excruciating contradiction between rhetoric and reality arrived in August, when Ikea in Glasgow sacked trade union rep Richie Venton for informing his members of plans to cut sick pay at the height of the pandemic. The original plans would see workers forced to take as little as £95 per week statutory sick pay, rather than a full pay entitlement, if they fell ill with the virus.
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