05/13/2013 18:30 EDT | Updated 07/13/2013 05:12 EDT

Workers strike at IKEA Richmond store

IKEA's Richmond store is behind picket lines after the Teamsters union served the company with a strike notice last week.

Teamsters local 213 — which represents 350 store employees — takes issue with the company's contract offers, rejected twice by members, which proposed a return to a tiered-wage system.

Members rejected the last offer on Sunday by a margin of 83 per cent, and voted to give the union a strike mandate, the second such strike since 2007.

Management fired back with a partial lockout until 9:30 a.m. Monday, but pickets are expected to stay up a while longer.

"We provide above industry average wages, we actually pay premiums and provide benefits for both full-time and part-time co-workers," said IKEA Richmond store manager Janet McGowan.

"We offer so many training opportunities, global opportunities, I mean we're a great place to work," she added.

The Richmond store is one of two unionized IKEA's in the country, and no further negotiating sessions are scheduled.

The store will open for reduced business hours: Monday to Friday, 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., until further notice.