“We have together decided, as this Ikea global union alliance, that we want to work together to promote the same good standards for IKEA workers everywhere,” said Alke Boessiger, head of the UNI Commerce.
While IKEA has very good practises in many countries, there are some situations where unions face challenges, she told AFP in Istanbul.
Referring to a case in Turkey, “workers were dismissed because they were organising other workers into a union,” Boessiger said.
In another case in France, a labour body filed charges against the company after French media alleged that Ikea had illegally spied on staff and customers, and paid for access to police files.
“We could not imagine a company like Ikea could allow opening of files on its workers, union members and even customers,” a representative from the French union Force Ouvriere told AFP.
“We ask ourselves a lot of questions, like where the money came from to do this, who decided and allowed it,” said representative Dominique Nikonoff, who also participated in the three-day meeting.
Although union representatives expressed a belief that such alleged spying had not spread to all Ikea stores, Turkish labour group Koop-Is claimed local Ikea management was trying to gather information on union members.
“Since last month, the management has been trying to sneak on employees to find out which one of their co-workers are union members,” said Metin Guney, Koop-Is secretary-general.
The Turkish Ikea management, Mapa Mobilya (Furnishing House), was not
immediately available for comment.
Ikea, the world’s largest furniture retailer, runs five stores in four of the country’s provinces and employs around 1,700 people in Turkey.