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.

We are proud to announce that the efforts of the Swedwood employees came to fruition this past weekend. On Saturday, Swedwood workers voted overwhelmingly to accept their first collective bargaining agreement. The contract addresses the issues that led the workers to join the IAMAW in July.

Among other things, the new contract includes provisions that: limit the number of temporary workers that can be hired, provide for a grievance process that is based on due process and just cause, increase vacation days, and require binding arbitration for irresolvable work issues between the company and the union. The agreement also sets up three joint labor-management cooperation committees, focused on health and safety, training for senior employees, and improving productivity.

By joining together in a union, Swedwood workers have gained a powerful new tool – a voice on the job. They have used collective bargaining to assemble a new workplace that respects workers’ rights and values its employees.

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, December 20th, 2011 at 2:12 pm and is filed under General, Jobs. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

6 Responses to “IKEA workers begin building a better workplace”

  1. […] Workers at IKEA in Virginia are getting their first contract. […]

  2. Stan Reese says:

    Congratulations!! Strength in Numbers!!

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