The latest advancement in the continuing saga of the Danville, Va., Ikea factory is this: after months of complaints about discriminatory practices, low wages, and forced overtime, workers have unionized, a move that the big-wig PR machine has "supported." Yesterday, employees voted 221-69 to join the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, a group that has been trying to woo the plant since 2008 with millions of dollars in incentives. Said one union spokesperson: “The primary issue that has driven this campaign from the beginning has been a plantation-like attitude by management. Mandatory overtime in New York City may not be a huge deal, but in a rural, family oriented small community with strong religious values, this treatment is unacceptable.” Meanwhile, buzz around Ikea's home country puts it simply: the company, the largest furnishings retailer in the world, supposedly a beacon of progressiveness and a source of pride, has been behaving in an unacceptably "un-Swedish way." Yet nearly a month ago Jon Stewart, ever the oracle that he is, prophesied what might happen if the Danville factory unionized: "Ikea could ship down to South Carolina. And those guys work for pork rinds and horse vaginas."
· Ikea Virginia's Manufacturing Plant Works Vote For Union [Bloomberg]
· Is Ikea's U.S. Factory One Big, Fat, Racist, Modern-Day Sweatshop? [Curbed National]
· Ikea Responds to Discrimination and Labor Conditions Charges [Curbed National]
· Jon Stewart Blames Ikea For Making America "Sweden's Mexico" [Curbed National]