PROTESTS have been held at Ikea Warrington over the ‘unfair sacking’ of an employee.

Pickets were held at three of the Swedish furniture giant’s stores across the UK simultaneously on Saturday, including at the Gemini Retail Park site.

The demonstrations were held in response to the sacking of Richie Venton, a shop steward and convenor at Ikea’s Glasgow branch.

It is claimed that the trade unionist’s employment was terminated because of his efforts in campaigning against cuts to his and his colleagues’ sick pay.

Warrington Trade Union Council, the RMT, Unite, USDAW and the Blacklist Support Group were among those represented at the protest.

The trades council says it is ‘determined to continue the campaign for Richie's reinstatement and full wages for sick workers’.

A campaign spokesman said: “The three simultaneous protests were a massive success and an escalation of the pressure on IKEA to reinstate Richie, whose only crime has been to stand up for members' health and wellbeing.

“Everyone who participated fed back the feeling of being emboldened, encouraged and inspired by this cross-union solidarity and pledged their determination to continue to fight to reinstate Richie Venton and win full wages for sick workers.

“We are not going away.”

Ikea told the Warrington Guardian that it was ‘unable to comment on individual cases’

A spokesman said: “We understand that this is an emotive issue, but we are unable to comment on individual cases owing to our obligations to coworker confidentiality and data privacy.

“Both IKEA and USDAW continue to work closely on all issues impacting our co-workers, and we can confirm that any co-worker requiring to isolate as a result of Covid-19 will be paid their full wages for the full for the isolation period – irrespective of their length of service or any previous occasions of absence, except when a co-worker travels abroad and quarantine may be imposed whilst they are away.”