The striking workers are the first unionized retail workers at an American IKEA store, and are taking this action in response to IKEA USA’s refusal to recognize their union and enter into contract negotiations.
“Instead of doing what is right, IKEA has chosen to fight its own hard-working employees. That is wrong. All we want is the chance to earn a better life,” said eight-year IKEA coworker Chris DeAngelo. “We are dedicated to our jobs, and wish IKEA would honor its own policy and respect our union rights.”
The workers requested that IKEA USA recognize their union after following a National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) process that allows companies to voluntarily recognize a union when workers demonstrate majority support. Seventy-five percent of workers in the bargaining unit signed a petition affirming their desire to join the union.
The action highlights a failure to follow IKEA Group policies, which explicitly state support for the right of workers to bargain collectively and to join a union of their choice in the company’s internal code of conduct.
The Stoughton IKEA store has been the subject of a recent NLRB complaint filed in Boston, alleging that the company violated federal law by unlawfully infringing on the right of workers to engage in protected union activity. The company has since settled the complaint with the NLRB.