Machinists Win Arbitration, Protect Maryland IKEA Workers

The IAM has won an arbitration case against IKEA after the Swedish furniture company refused union officials access to its IAM-represented Perryville, MD warehouse. Local I-460, District 4 members at the factory had alerted the IAM of unsafe trailers, cut seatbelts, needles left on the control of forklifts and other safety violations.

IKEA held that because the IAM did not have an active grievance on the matter and that the company was investigating the violations, the union did not have the right to enter the facility. After several attempts to resolve the issue, the IAM filed a grievance claiming the collective bargaining agreement gives the union the right to have access to it members for the purposes of assuring members were working in a safe and hazardous-free work environment.

Earlier this year the arbitrator sided with the IAM and agreed the company cannot deny the union the right to access its members after proper notice is given. The arbitrator also said that the company violated the National Labor Relations Act.

“Through the hard work of the Local I-460 Stewards and the guidance of Assistant Directing Business Representative Rick Compher, the IAM prevailed in this arbitration,” said District 4 Directing Business Representative Dave Sullivan. “IAM members at Local I-460 and throughout District 4 can rest assured that their union will pursue the company vigorously when IKEA and other employers do not adhere to collective bargaining agreements and attempts to control the process of representation.”

“This win is important to all of organized labor and cuts to the very core of what we do as a union,” said IAM Eastern Territory General Vice President Lynn D. Tucker, Jr. “Our ability to service and represent our members is their protected right. Congratulations to Directing Business Representative Sullivan, his staff and the members at Local I-460.”