National strike at IKEA Italy
For the first time in the history of IKEA in Italy, a one-day national strike has been called by the commerce unions for Saturday, 11 July 2015.
The unilateral decision by the company in May 2015 to terminate the collective bargaining agreement had prompted an immediate and extremely strong reaction on the part of the workers and their trade unions resulting in an 8-hour strike on the 6th of June with almost 100% participation.
The exceptional mobilisation of IKEA employees in June did not dampen the willingness of the trade unions and the workers to continue the negotiations. In fact, the expectation was that the Swedish multinational would soften its rigid position. Over the last few weeks there have been a number of meetings at which both sides presented their arguments on the subject of the company’s demand that staff costs be reduced.
Unfortunately the parties did not manage to close the enormous gap in their positions, which is why UNI affiliates Filcams, Fisascat and Uiltucs have now called IKEA workers in Italy to take collective action to defend their rights and benefits.
According to the unions, the company is absolutely determined to get their hands on workers’ pay packets, and intends to do this by transforming the fixed portion of workers’ wages into an element that is based on variable indicators. The company’s proposals would penalise workers by massively cutting the extra pay they receive for Sunday work and work on public holidays. IKEA claims that they wish to do so for reasons of fairness – a suggestion which the unions struggle to understand.
In their joint call for strike the three unions said: “Ikea is a successful multinational all over the world. In Italy the company is a firm leader thanks to the work of the many men and women who make their daily contribution, not least on the openings on Sundays and holidays. For this, and for the defence of the company collective contract, we are on strike and ask the company to review its position."
We want to continue to support that IKEA to be a good place to work. But we must defend the workers’ rights, wages and dignity!