Posts Tagged ‘IKEA’

What an exciting year for workers’ rights!

The end of the year is upon us, and what an exciting 12 months it has been for workers’ rights! We’ve had some lows, but we’ve also seen significant victories for the 99 percent.  Among other things: Ohio voters repealed SB 5, the NLRB approved a rule to ensure workers get a fair vote during union elections, and the Occupy movement shifted the national debate to focus on the real problems facing middle-class families. Read more »


IKEA workers begin building a better workplace

In July, we reported that employees at IKEA’s Swedwood plant in Danville, Virginia voted overwhelmingly to become part of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW). Swedwood employees were spurred to organize after facing pay cuts, mandatory overtime, racial discrimination, and dangerous conditions on the job—in extreme contrast(link) to working conditions in IKEA’s plants in Sweden. Upon hearing about the situation at Swedwood, American Rights at Work activists responded by sending IKEA’s CEO more than 22,000 letters asking him to stop intimidating employees and allow them a fair chance to form a union. Read more »


IKEA Workers Begin Building a Better Factory

In what is being hailed as an “incredibly significant” victory for workers, employees at IKEA’s Swedwood plant in Danville, Virginia, voted overwhelmingly to form a union Wednesday. Workers at the bookcase and furniture assembly site will be represented by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW).

In true IKEA fashion, the workers have begun to assemble a better future with their own hands. By organizing into a union they have gained a voice on the job and a place at the proverbial Scandinavian-styled table. They responded to the specific problems taking place in Danville, and now have the tools in hand to fashion a new workplace. Read more »


Ask IKEA: What’s Swedish for unionbusting?

IKEA logoI’m a big fan of IKEA. They sell cool, affordable furniture and teach me a few Swedish words whenever I go to their stores. They’ve also made it their mission to be a responsible, innovative company that takes care of its workers. In Sweden, where almost all of IKEA’s workers are in unions, we’ve seen that mission fulfilled. The workers there earn about $19 an hour minimum and get five weeks of paid vacation.

So it’s incredibly disappointing to find out that those high standards aren’t true for their U.S. employees too.

At an IKEA subsidiary factory in Danville, Virginia, workers report they are facing pay cuts, mandatory overtime, racial discrimination, and dangerous conditions on the job.
The workers want to organize as a union in order to gain a voice on the job and stop the mistreatment. But instead of respecting its workers’ right to form a union like IKEA does in Sweden, IKEA’s subsidiary in Virginia hired unionbusting consultants and discouraged union membership in mandatory employee meetings. And, worst of all, workers who support forming a union have now been fired!

It’s completely outrageous — and it needs to stop. Fortunately there is something you can do today. Write a letter to IKEA’s CEO and tell him to stop the intimidation and to let the U.S. workers have a fair shot to join a union! While we appreciate Ikea’s mission of corporate social responsibility, IKEA’s actions in its U.S. factory speak louder than words.


Tell IKEA CEO Mikael Ohlsson: Let Swedwood employees build a better future

If you’re trying to outfit your home on a budget, IKEA is pretty much the holy grail of interior decorating. The cafeteria food isn’t half bad either. But at Swedwood, an IKEA furniture subsidiary in Danville, VA, employees say they’re subjected to a whole slew of unsafe, unfair, and generally unpleasant working conditions—including unlawful intimidation and firing of union supporters during their ongoing attempt to join the Machinists (IAM).

That’s way too high a price to pay for any product, no matter how trendy. Read more »