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