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Richmond Ikea store returns to full operation following lengthy strike

RICHMOND (NEWS1130) – Two weeks before Christmas Eve, the Ikea store in Richmond is back to full strength after a long strike.

Its hours had been reduced and the restaurant was closed. Ikea Canada president Stefan Sjostrend says the company is hiring.

“You know, when you have been on strike for 18 months, some of the coworkers have to find some other jobs during that time, so we are searching for around 60 people,” he tells News1130, noting there’s about 330 staff in total.

As to any lingering bitterness from the dispute, Sjostrend says, “I have actually met the coworkers [who were] on the picket line, in four different sessions 1.5 months ago, and when I spoke to those coworkers they were very glad to come back to work.”

The post-strike effort includes coaching from someone close to Ikea’s CEO. “We have a person who worked as the assistant for Ingvar Kamprad for six years. He’s coming here to Richmond and supporting the coworkers in culture and values training.”

He adds about 100 people from other parts of the operation have also come to Richmond to provide training.

The store is returning to full operation for the first time since the spring of 2013; the strike ended in October of this year.