Monday, 11 April 2011

Adjö, IKEA

I have some IKEA furniture: on my budget, with so many books, there was little choice. Next time, I won't be buying their stuff, after reading this little reminder that corporations can't be trusted. IKEA may be a model employer in lovely liberal Sweden, but its behaviour in the US demonstrates that the company's default position is to revert to the mean (and I mean that in many ways).
World-beating tax-cheats Ikea have a reputation for being a great employer in Sweden; but in America, their first factory is a model sweatshop, with rock-bottom wages, mandatory overtime, abusive vacation policies, and forced reeducation meetings for employees who support forming a union.
Laborers in Swedwood plants in Sweden produce bookcases and tables similar to those manufactured in Danville. The big difference is that the Europeans enjoy a minimum wage of about $19 an hour and a government-mandated five weeks of paid vacation. Full-time employees in Danville start at $8 an hour with 12 vacation days -- eight of them on dates determined by the company.
What's more, as many as one-third of the workers at the Danville plant have been drawn from local temporary-staffing agencies. These workers receive even lower wages and no benefits, employees said. 
The company has drafted in a disgusting union-busting law firm to stop these greedy bastardds blackmailing the poor international corporation.

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