The IAM filed for a representation election for hourly workers at Swedwood, an IKEA supplier in Danville, VA. Workers at Swedwood have endured harsh working conditions and an anti-union campaign that violates IKEA’s own code of conduct.
IKEA, based in Sweden, prides itself on maintaining practices in its own business and its suppliers that “shall have an overall positive impact on people and the environment” and recognizes the rights of workers as defined by the International Labor Organization’s (ILO) Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international standards.
IKEA’s policy states that “IKEA supports each co-worker’s right to freedom of association and does not express any preference within the institutional and recognized co-worker associations. We respect the rights of our co-workers to join, form or not to join a co-worker association of their choice without fear of reprisal, interference, intimidation or harassment.”
But within 24 hours of the IAM’s election filing, Swedwood sought to include about 30 “Team Captains,” who are responsible for discipline and making recommendations for hiring and firing, in the election.
“It is ironic that Swedwood, who has claimed they want to allow everyone to decide for themselves whether to be in the union or not, decides immediately that it will force 30 Team Captains to be in the union,” said Woodworkers Department Director Bill Street. “There is only one reason for Swedwood to demand that Team Captains be in the union, and that is to influence the outcome of the election.”
Click here for more information about Swedwood-IKEA.