IKEA employees are preparing to launch a collective bargaining procedure with the company's management. The result of this procedure may be the preservation of work for those who have not yet been laid off, or more equitable compensation when they leave. But according to the organizer of the trade union of the forest industries Alexander Illarionov, the priority is still given to the preservation of the workplace.
“Now we have launched a survey among employees of IKEA divisions, this is the first stage, to find out the position of employees, after that – to launch collective bargaining. The main guideline is the preservation of employment”, - Illarionov said.
As Novye Izvestiya previously reported, IKEA announced plans to leave Russia shortly after the start of the NWO in Ukraine. For several months, the company's stores and factories were idle. In the summer, IKEA announced a sale of leftovers. In parallel, launched the process of dismissal of employees. The personnel of the three factories that produced furniture were cut exactly in half. Store personnel have been reduced almost completely. In order not to remove workers as part of the reduction or liquidation procedure, people were offered compensation in the amount of 7-8 salaries for signing a dismissal agreement. Now about 1,500 employees remain at the IKEA factories in Tikhvin, Vyatka and Novgorod. They were taken out of idle in early September and instructed to begin "pre-sale preparation." The plants are going to be sold to Russian investors. About 10,000 people worked in numerous stores. According to Illarionov, 99% of this team agreed to the payment and left. There were about a hundred left.
“Those who were “needed” to ensure any processes remained, as well as those who refused to agree to the conditions of IKEA and were immediately focused on collective bargaining,” the trade union activist says, “now mobilization has superimposed on these processes. People are called up, but what about the guarantee of job retention? In factories, this turned out to be better organized. We managed to get an answer from the management of the plant in Novgorod that the mobilized people signed a paper in the personnel department stating that their place was reserved for them. It has not yet been possible to obtain such information from the management of the stores. People who agreed to compensation and quit can also be called up, but without any guarantees”.
What kind of jobs can we talk about if IKEA announced the curtailment of business? According to the activist, in the case of factories, collectives may demand that the current working conditions be maintained even if the asset is sold. The Swedish company provided additional medical insurance, "European" labor protection, etc. For store employees, it's more difficult. Novye Izvestia has already reported that IKEA is not finally leaving Russia. She still has real estate objects - the Mega shopping mall, as well as the legal entities that manage them. The same legal entities have assumed obligations under the guarantee for the goods sold out this summer.
“We know that the managers have all been transferred to these legal entities that no one is liquidating, they are working”, - says Illarionov, “the remaining ordinary store workers can be transferred there as well. What can they do? Yes, whatever, during this summer people were thrown into different tasks, they learned a lot and will be able, like managers, to deal with a guarantee or perform functions in shopping centers. There will be work for them. As for the IKEA factories, no specifics have yet been named. Workers regularly ask their bosses, the answer is always the same: we choose the best business plan. But there is no clarity".
As Novye Izvestia previously reported, at the beginning of the year, IKEA announced its desire to stop doing business in Russia. For factories that produced furniture, they are looking for new owners, and most of the staff have been fired from pay compensation. In the summer, the company, with a creak and interruptions, held a sale of leftovers, which caused a stir. At the same time, IKEA did not curtail its rental business and did not sell Mega shopping centers.