Huge Labor Victory After IKEA Outsourced Swedish Jobs

As ThinkProgress reported last April, home furniture giant IKEA has set up shop at a manufacturing plant in Danville, Virginia for the past three years in order to gain access to a non-unionized pool of labor and avoid Swedish unions.

Workers at the Danville plant allegedly faced mandatory overtime, frantic hours, and even racial discrimination.

Yesterday, following an intense union organizing drive by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, the employees at this Virginia plant voted overwhelmingly to unionize.

Workers at Ikea’s U.S. furniture factory voted to form a union, a victory for the labor movement seeking to rebound from record-low membership at private companies. Employees at the plant in Danville, Virginia, voted 221-69 today to join the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, the National Labor Relations Board said.

The factory, operated by a subsidiary called Swedwood, makes low- cost bookcases and coffee tables for sale in Ikea’s 37 blue and yellow U.S. big-box stores.
Local news station WDBJ7 covered the workers’ victory. Watch it:

“We fully support the right of our co-workers to make this decision,” said a spokeswoman for the IKEA subsidiary that operates the plant. “We accept their decision and will work with their union in a mutually cooperative and respectful manner.”


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