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Ikea treats its US workers like shit compared to ones in Sweden

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Liberal_in_LA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-10-11 09:54 AM
Original message
Ikea treats its US workers like shit compared to ones in Sweden
Edited on Sun Apr-10-11 09:54 AM by Liberal_in_LA
Ikea's U.S. factory churns out unhappy workers
A union-organizing battle hangs over the Ikea plant in Virginia. Workers complain of eliminated raises, a frenzied pace, mandatory overtime and racial discrimination.

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But three years after the massive facility opened here, excitement has waned. Ikea is the target of racial discrimination complaints, a heated union-organizing battle and turnover from disgruntled employees.

Workers complain of eliminated raises, a frenzied pace and mandatory overtime. Several said it's common to find out on Friday evening that they'll have to pull a weekend shift, with disciplinary action for those who can't or don't show up.

Kylette Duncan, among the plant's first hires, quit after six months to take a lower-paying retail job. "I need money as bad as anybody, but I also need a life," said Duncan, 52. She recalled having to cancel medical appointments for her ailing husband because she had to work overtime at the last minute.

-------------------

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.

-----------------------------

"It's ironic that Ikea looks on the U.S. and Danville the way that most people in the U.S. look at Mexico," Street said.

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-ikea-union-20110410,0,5341610.story
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NewJeffCT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-10-11 10:02 AM
Response to Original message
1. That bolded line at the end is key
Sweden looks upon the US like people here look upon Mexico...
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Brickbat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-10-11 10:06 AM
Response to Original message
2. It's not ironic at all. Many countries "outsouce" to the U.S.
I find it amazing that so many people believe that everything they can buy at the IKEA store is made in Sweden.
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datasuspect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-10-11 10:14 AM
Response to Original message
3. that's why the government and corporations are doing what they are doing
it's a race to the bottom. we have to become a third world nation with no middle class to become competitive in the global market.

if we can achieve parity or maybe a little more than parity wage-wise with india and china, we could be amply competitive.

we can still churn out a relatively educated populace. at least we can provide the paperwork that says so.

our workforce are native english speakers (this is actually a competitive advantage).

we have a largely controlled and obedient population. the danger of business disruption due to political instability can be countered with the argument that we have the best-trained police and military in the world.

a company can rest assured that every kindness, consideration, and courtesy will be provided in the form of tax breaks, tax rebates, and other publicly funded morsel we can offer. officers of the company will be accorded near diplomatic status instantly.

plus they know that a majority of americans can be highly loyal, will believe anything they are told, and can be relied upon to trust any official message.
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Skidmore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-10-11 10:18 AM
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4. Companies do what the law allows them to get away with. Also
the American worker has been willing to trade away protections in the workplace for short term gains over the past 2 decades. Now workers are in the position where to really strike would mean that the jobs would just be moved elsewhere. There is little leverage beyond our most essential role to companies--consumer.
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nashville_brook Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-10-11 10:28 AM
Response to Original message
5. yay free trade! -- your labor for free
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Bigmack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-10-11 10:28 AM
Response to Original message
6. Ikea doesn't dare treat it's ...
European workers like they treat their US employees.... those European workers would strike/walkout/riot.

That's the thing about being slaves.... you're so beaten down that you know there's no other way to be.
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WatsonT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-10-11 10:40 AM
Response to Original message
7. Ikea products are largely crap
I would avoid them. Unless you're only planning on using your furniture for about a year.

Compressed woodchips are not the best building material.
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ingac70 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-10-11 12:13 PM
Response to Original message
8. kick
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The Straight Story Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-11-11 09:10 AM
Response to Original message
9. kick (nt)
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