Victory at IKEA

The IKEA store in the city of Brescia sacked 7 store employees in September 2008 refusing to renew their contract with them. The company believed that employees should pay for the crisis. These people had worked at
IKEA for many years, working up to 200 hours per month for as little as 1000 Euros. So the workers decided to protest against this sacking and engaged in picketing at the IKEA store. They have were an established group of workers Senzatemponedenaro and were willing to fight a stubborn struggle. They also joined the USI, the Italian section of the International Workers Association. They conducted continous weekend pickets at IKEA with many people deciding to boycott the store.

Observer Report from the 23rd Swedish Anarcho-Syndicalist Youth Federation Conference

Earlier this month I attended the Swedish Anarcho-Syndicalist Youth Federation (SUF) Federal Conference in Malmö as an observer  from North London Solidarity Federation. This is the 23rd conference and in the 20 year anniversary of the group.

20 years ago the SUF formed in inpiration from the Central Organisation of the Workers of Sweden (SAC), the Swedish syndicalist union which left the IWA in dispute during the 50's. SUF was previously the official youth membership group of the SAC and today the two still work closely together. In Malmö, a small city in the South of Sweden, they share an HQ which allows the SUF local access to various resources and archives as well as a meeting space and office.

International news in brief

India: boss shoots at striking workers
A ‘manager’ at the Combo Allied Nippon Company in Sahibabad, India, shot at striking workers before they overpowered him. Nine workers have now been arrested for his murder.

Around 400 workers had been striking over the issues of contracts, bonuses and a pay rise. Company officials went to confront strikers and opened fire with 4-5 shots, wounding a worker. Workers then fought with officials leaving several injured on both sides and the shooter dead.

Sources close to the workers claim that many of the so-called ‘management’ are in fact company goons hired to break the union, and that beatings of workers have become commonplace. Reportedly it was also “quite common for them to roam inside the factory openly carrying the guns in order to terrorise the workers.”

Solidarity with sacked IKEA workers

Solidarity with sacked IKEA workers in Brescia, Italy.
On 1st September, whilst workers were being transferred between one work agency to another, 7 workers were sacked, even though they had been assured they would be absorbed into the new agency.

These general service workers had been working at IKEA for several years, had been lowly paid at €5 per hour and working up to 200 hours per month and had been working in unsafe working conditions in the underground car park with no exhaust fans. Workers even had to purchase their own safety clothing.