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Global unions demand IKEA respect workers’ rights and stop anti-union activities in the USA

23 June, 2016In a joint statement, IndustriALL Global Union, UNI Global Union, the ITF and IUF global unions and the ITUC are calling on IKEA to end anti-union activities in the US. The call comes as workers at a US IKEA store are being prevented from organizing by a campaign of misinformation and obstruction by management.

Employees at an IKEA store in Stoughton, Massachusetts, are trying to organize a trade union and seeking representation by the United Food and Commercial Workers' Union (UFCW). Despite the fact that a large majority of the workers have clearly voiced a desire to have UFCW as their representative, the company is not recognizing the union and are demanding an election by the workers.

IKEA Global Management had guaranteed that workers would be able to “enjoy a healthy environment to participate in the election process and freely exercise their right to vote in the union election”.

But leading up to the elections, IKEA USA is using union-busting methods like misinformation and scaring workers into believing that union representation may lose them existing benefits and pay, refusing to let the union talk to workers to prevent trade union organizing, defying IKEA's code of conduct and values.

IndustriALL general secretary Jyrki Raina says:

The workers' freedom of association needs to be respected. A company that wants to be a leader in social issues should rectify this immediately and let the workers choose their own representation.

The statement points out that although IKEA has well-functioning labour relations with unions in many countries around the world, the company is falling a long way short of its avowed high standards on labour relations.

The statement calls on IKEA Global Management to take immediate action to ensure that:

  • Every IKEA worker around the world has the right to freely exercise their right to choose union representation and engage in collective bargaining
  • No IKEA worker should have to choose between the company and the union
  • IKEA USA stop its anti-union campaign and recognize UFCW as the representative of IKEA USA workers