On 30 October 2019, a BWI delegation composed of Ambet Yuson, General Secretary of BWI, Vincente Sanchez, General Secretary of CCOO-FECOMA, Marília Medes, International Officer of Unia, and Coen van der Veer, Regional Representatives of BWI Europe, joined by Fátima Messias, Secretary-General of FEVICCOM, an affiliate of CGTP-IN; Joaquim Rocha, FEVICCOM; and Martins, CGTP-IN Porto, visited the IKEA Industry plant in Paços de Ferreira, Portugal.
The plant is one of the largest facilities of Ikea Industry. It was established in 2008 and has 1500 co-workers and a total area of more than 470.000 m². Portugal is one of IKEA Industry’s top five production countries, alongside Poland, Russia, Slovakia and Sweden.
In a very frank and open discussion, several issues were addressed:
Level of compliance of IKEA Industry Portugal with IKEA employment standard; there was a discussion about future challenges for reaching 100% compliance, particularly in what concerns the ratio between permanent contracts, fixed term contracts and agency co-workers;
Intention of reviewing and updating the collective agreement; IKEA Industry Portugal’s current collective agreement no longer reflects the changes occurring in industrial processes and technologies, namely in what concerns professional categories; IKEA Industry Portugal is open to receiving contributions from social partners relevant for this issue;
During the meeting, and in accordance with IKEA Industry’s position on the subject, IKEA Industry Portugal stated that it respects the trade union rights of workers and their freedom of association and would continue to do so. Workers’ rights to be union members and active in the union would face no negative repercussions from the company.
IKEA Industry Portugal showed total availability to open a space for dialogue around labour themes. As an employer IKEA Industry Portugal, as well as IKEA Industry Group, stay neutral and will campaign neither for, nor against, any union, and is available for new dialogue opportunities with BWI.
Following the meeting there was an equally frank and transparent exchange with the member of the European Workers Council Cidalia Ribeiro. As in the previous meeting, she also showed availability to maintain an open dialogue.