International Support for Swedwood/IKEA Workers Grows

The organizing drive at IKEA’s manufacturing subsidiary, Swedwood, in Danville, VA, is gaining more international support with a special request by the Building and Wood Workers’ International (BWI).

BWI is calling for people around the world to submit pictures of themselves in front of IKEA stores with signs saying “I Vote for IKEA/Swedwood Union!” BWI will then forward the photos to the workers in Danville, VA, as a show of solidarity.

Workers at the Swedwood facility have led a campaign to join the IAM but have met strong resistance by local management. The organizing drive has drawn international attention with support by woodworker unions in Europe, including a recent visit by President Per-Olof Sjöö of GS, the Swedish union of forestry, wood and graphical workers. The National Labor Relations Board has scheduled an election for July 27.

“Swedwood workers have endured tough working conditions and resistance by management to let workers decide for themselves if they want to join the IAM,” said IAM Woodworkers Director Bill Street who is working with the organizers at Swedwood. “Local management’s conduct is in violation of IKEA’s own corporate policy which is to recognize their workers’ right to organize without company interference.”

Swedwood is a subsidiary of IKEA, and the Danville plant is one of 40 production units in 10 countries.

Click here for more information on the BWI campaign to support Swedwood workers in Danville.