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Trade unionists rally for Ikea to reinstate shop steward

A SERIES of demonstrations was held outside Ikea stores across Britain on Saturday demanding the reinstatement of worker and Usdaw shop steward Richie Venton. 

The latest of four demonstrations outside of the Swedish furniture giant’s Glasgow store, where Mr Venton worked until he was sacked by bosses for fighting cuts to conditions, saw solidarity messages from a number of unions. 

Members of Unite, the UCU, GMB, CWU, RMT, EIS-FELA, Unison, the Fire Brigades Union and Clydebank Trades Union Council attended the Glasgow rally, while further demonstrations were held in Warrington and Edinburgh.  

Mr Venton said: “My battle is part of a much wider struggle against employers who take a bung from the state to subsidise wages and profits, but then when that has dried up, seek to drive down wages, drive down jobs, drive down sick pay, and hammer workers’ rights. 

“They try to drive workers down onto their knees. 

“Let us stand up like working men and women to defend our lives from the assaults by the profiteers.” 

Other trade unionists in attendance warned demonstrations outside stores will continue if Mr Venton is not reinstated. 

A motion tabled by SNP MP Chris Stephens last month in support has now been backed by more than 50 MPs, including members from Labour, the Green Party, as well as Alliance and Social Democratic and Labour Party politicians from Mr Venton’s native Ireland. 

The actions across Britain came ahead of a solidarity rally set to be held tonight.

A public meeting, organised by Clydebank Trades Union Council, will be held online and will see Gordon Martin, of RMT’s Glasgow branch, speak.

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