We love our POÄNG chairs and sensible shelving options, but not when they’re produced in dangerous, anti-union factories that exploit workers.
Swedwood, a furniture manufacturer owned by IKEA, is mistreating its workers at a factory in Danville, VA. Workers there say they face health and safety violations and racial discrimination, but when workers tried to organize a union to address some of these issues, Swedwood hired Jackson Lewis, a union-busting law firm that has, "been retained to advise many employers who have succeeded in winning NLRB elections or in avoiding union elections altogether." Workers were forced to attend a meeting with management where they were strongly discouraged from joining a union. Representatives from the Machinists union, on the other hand, have been refused entry to the plant, so they can't even speak with the workers.
IKEA's code of conduct specifically states that its suppliers shall not, "prevent workers from associating freely with any worker's association or group of their choosing, or from collective bargaining." Because IKEA owns this company outright, they need to step in and stop Swedwood from violating their own code of conduct.
Please write to Ikea and urge them to allow workers to freely organize a union and to investigate safety and discrimination issues at this plant.
Photo Credit: Håkan Dahlström
The employees at the Swedwood factory in Danville, VA work in one of the most dangerous plants in the furniture industry. Because of this, workers at Swedwood are trying to form a union. Their attempts to form a union have been met with intimidation and harassment of union supporters by Swedwood management, and the hiring of known union-busting firm Jackson Lewis to hold mandatory meetings with workers.
By intimidating and discharging union supporters, Swedwood is violating the IKEA Code of Conduct, which states that a supplier shall not “prevent workers from associating freely with any worker's association or group of their choosing, or from collective bargaining.” IKEA has failed to enforce its code at Swedwood.
America is not a haven for European companies’ (e.g. Securitas, Sodexo) anti-union experiments. We demand that IKEA immediately stop attacking workers’ rights to form a union at Swedwood’s Danville factory.