UNI IKEA Global Union Alliance demands IKEA USA stop anti-union activities
The UNI IKEA Global Union Alliance condemns IKEA USA’s anti-union actions at Stoughton, including spreading false and malicious messages implying a negative impact of unionisation. UNI’s affiliate, the UFCW, filed for a union vote to be held under the country’s national labour relations board rules. Following IKEA’s stated policies, workers in the Goods-Flow-In department in the Stoughton store had already three times demonstrated publicly their strong desire to be represented by UFCW. But IKEA USA refused to recognise UFCW as their representative without an election.
Both global and US management had assured UNI and the UFCW as well as the workers in Stoughton that “management will ensure that IKEA’s own co-worker principles will be upheld during the election process and guaranteed that co-workers will be able to enjoy a healthy environment to participate in the process and freely exercise their right to vote in the union election.” IKEA USA management had furthermore given assurances that they will be engaging constructively with the Union should Co-Workers vote for representation by the UFCW in order to develop a constructive labor management relationship in the US.
But despite all those assurances IKEA USA is waging a coordinated and explicit misinformation campaign in the run-up to the forthcoming union elections. Workers are forced to sit through up to 2-hour long captive audience meetings during which management scares workers into believing that union representation may lose them existing benefits and pay and frame the election as choosing between the company and the union. IKEA USA brought workers from around the country to Stoughton to cover for the time when Stoughton workers were pulled off the floor and into these captive audience meetings.
UNI Global Union’s Head of Commerce, Alke Boessiger said, “We believe that IKEA Global management has acted in good faith. Along with UNI and the UFCW and most importantly the workers at IKEA Stoughton, IKEA Global management has been misled by IKEA USA, which has chosen to go down the anti-union path following the discredited Walmart model of fighting unions. IKEA Global must not allow its reputation to be tarnished and must step in and instigate change to ensure this growing anti-union culture is not allowed to fester. The UNI IKEA Global Union Alliance is mobilising and will make sure the message from IKEA workers across the world is heard clearly: Pro-Union, Pro-IKEA - IKEA USA you are out of touch and out of line.”
IKEA USA continues to refuse any dialogue with our affiliate, the UFCW, and has even begun anti-union actions in another store in Fort Lauderdale. The UNI IKEA Global Union stands strong with all US IKEA workers under attack and will continue its actions until IKEA USA changes course and follows the will of its workers by recognizing the UFCW as their representative.