Global Unions demand IKEA respect worker rights and stop anti-union activities in the U.S.
In a joint-statement, UNI, IndustriALL, ITF, IUF global unions and the ITUC have called on IKEA to end anti-union activities in the U.S.
UNI Global Union, along with other global unions and the ITUC have condemned IKEA’s anti-union activities in the U.S and demand that IKEA take the necessary steps to ensure that all its employees can freely and exercise their right to unionise and bargain collectively.
The call comes after workers at the IKEA store in Stoughton, Massachusetts have been prevented from organising a union by a campaign of misinformation and obstruction by the management.
Part of the statement reads:
“IKEA Global Management has repeatedly assured UNI and its affiliated unions that IKEA is committed to upholding its universal values in all IKEA stores, including the right of all IKEA workers to join the union of their choice without fear of retaliation and recrimination.
In the USA, employees at an IKEA store in Stoughton, Massachusetts are trying to organise into a trade union, the United Food and Commercial Workers' Union (UFCW). Despite the fact that a large majority of those workers had on several occasions clearly demonstrated their desire to have UFCW as their representative, the company has chosen not to recognise UFCW and demanded an election by the workers.
IKEA Global Management had guaranteed that co-workers will be able to enjoy a healthy environment to participate in the election process and freely exercise their right to vote in the union election – upholding IKEA’s “Code of Conduct” and “Co-worker Principles.
Despite all of those assurances IKEA USA is waging a coordinated and explicit anti-union campaign in the run-up to the forthcoming union elections, including captive audience meetings, misinforming and scaring workers into believing that union representation may lose them existing benefits and pay, refusing to let the union talk to workers etc.”
The statement points out that IKEA has fallen a long way short of its avowed high standards on labour relations:
“IKEA has well-functioning labour relations with unions in many countries around the world. The company wants to be the preferred employer in all markets and wants to be a leader not only in its sales segment but also on social and environmental issues.
Despite this, IKEA in the USA is applying classic union-busting methods often used by anti-union companies to prevent trade union organising, defying IKEA's code of conduct and values.”
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 recognise UFCW as the representative of IKEA USA workers.
On Monday 27th June, the Stoughton store is due to hold elections to decide whether the workers are in favour of unionisation or not. UNI and its partners and affiliates, including the UFCW, believe that this vote is unfair because of the undue and unfair influence of management.
UNI’s Head of Commerce, Alke Boessiger, said, “The IKEA USA management at Stoughton has cynically set out to distort the facts, exclude the union and influence the elections. These anti-union activities go against the fundamental IKEA global management model for decent work. UNI and its partners urges IKEA to take action to rectify these wrongs now.”
See GUFS joint-statement on IKEA