Employer: Workers, please strive to go from bad to average. Workers: No way!

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The Article

This tangent is a sequel to my blog entry just posted, which speaks to the power of the people in wrecking the narrative advanced by the liberal-left and/or their mainstream media division. I am rejoicing today in how these good citizens (a word so good, by the way, that it has been banned by the left-wing progressive nitwits in Seattle, Washington) have become more and more adept at blasting holes in the liberals’ memes, and that of their media. The fun part is that they’re using the mainstream media’s own web space to do it. Which is why I love the internet.

But it gets even more fun. The article is about how a union is battling against one of the icons of European-style socialism, IKEA. It is unwittingly mocking, in practical terms, how both of them are failing  — at least failing to make sense.

This news article comes with a handy bonus fold-out dumbspakenbild. It reveals some of the bizarre, almost embarrassing thinking of today’s labor unions. I may be a nincompoop, but I bet lots of IKEA’s union members would shed their union membership and join the ranks of real-world, performance-based normality; and they can see the success easily available to citizens (ok Seattle-folk  — the people) in the absence of unions. For these people. the simple solution to ending this IKEA strike  —  and the key to higher earnings and a better job  —  is to eliminate the union.

The fun bit is that the union in this case is the union representing IKEA workers. IKEA has always been carefully crafted and packaged and then assembled by the Left as a shining scion of European-style socialism. For its part, the union is, apparently, posing as that infamous, confusing, IKEA assembly instruction sheet, which makes no sense. And then it’s all printed-up in a very progressive-lovin’ media outlet, which usually poses as an instruction sheet for progressive-spokentürd.

 (My highlighting)

Rejected IKEA offer spoke to inefficiencies, company says


VANCOUVER — The Globe and Mail

Last updated

The offer most recently tabled by IKEA in an ongoing labour dispute with employees at its Richmond, B.C., location addressed the unionized members’ primary contract concern and would have positioned the store for future sustainability, according to the company.

Teamsters Local Union 213 recently rejected the offer – which would have guaranteed employees a 2-per-cent increase annually and up to an additional 6 per cent if the store met annual sales targets – after three days of mediation over a two-week period. The union found the targets to be “unrealistic,” said member Dorothy Tompkins, noting they are significantly higher than the store’s typical sales.

However, the company maintains that a sales target of $30-million more over a six-year agreement is reasonable for the store, which it says has consistently been the lowest-performing in Canada while having the highest staff costs.

IKEA Richmond’s productivity is 30 per cent below Canada’s highest performing store, in part due to the allocation of guaranteed hours and a “lack of efficiencies and flexibility” in the expired collective agreement, said IKEA spokeswoman Madeleine Lowenborg-Frick…

The company is asking the Richmond store to go from being the lowest performing in the country to seventh out of 12, Ms. Lowenborg-Frick said.

No! says the union. We refuse to be encouraged to be barely half-ass instead of staying at the bottom!

It’s almost funny. I say almost because alas, it’s real life and the fact is, this is really just absolutely common union-think. Worse, it’s the sort of “thinking” that prevails in the enormous government or public-sector unions too. For example, teachers’ unions are dead against performance-based job security or salaries, and are therefore against testing and rankings as put out by the venerable Fraser Institute. And therefore, people today can’t read or write. But teachers and their unions are cool with that. At IKEA, they might call this a stupitcrap. But they still sell it anyway.

And here’s where plain old citizens (or people of unidentifiable or unimportant national credentials) come in:


7:28 AM on August 7, 2013

Sounds like ikea is being quite reasonable. All the employees have to do is rise from bottom of the barrel to middle of the pack–and they get an 8% increase (2% + 6% bonus)! If they don’t–they still get 2%. Most of us would love 8% increases for being hopelessly average. And 2% for being worst of the pack? Come on! If that’s not a good enough contract, you deserve to be unemployed because clearly even simple math is beyond you.


12:17 PM on August 7, 2013

Actually 7th out of 12 is still below average and they are the highest paid. They should get nothing unless they pull themselves up to average while being paid the most. Their highest paid workers after 4 years get almost $29 an hour for a retail job.

Cry me a freekin’ river.

IKEA-start_the_car(300px)Or as the IKEA ad says, “Start the car!!” Because the union is getting away with theft.

And now I’ll tangent again, because the liberals can’t stop me! I’ve often advocated that politicians get paid based on how much the average self-employed entrepreneur is making  —  after tax. That’s an odd twist on performance-based pay scales, to be sure. But imagine the benefits to Canadians! Alas, politicians are (perhaps wisely) against that. After all, politicians have kids to send to private schools and medical tests and procedures to get done in the U.S., and they don’t shop at IKEA.

There is no love lost between me and IKEA, which I swore off of back when I discovered quality goods. To be as uncomfortable about IKEA and its sales woes at its Richmond, BC store as an IKEA chair is to sit in, I’ll venture a guess here. If I understand correctly, Richmond was Canada’s first IKEA store which is still standing, opening back in 1976. It has taken this long for the folks of BC’s lower mainland to figure out that a lot of, or even most of, IKEA’s stuff… is junk. Its made out of something just barely thicker and sturdier than cardboard  —  and actually, some of it is cardboard. It’s little more than a temporary Hollywood set stock. And their credo seems to be “make it uncomfortable, workers, for our goal is to make our chairs hard on the ass.”


Joel Johannesen
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  1. Please ,you have to see both sides of the picture here, it seems that most news articles that we’ve been reading are all pro Ikea, Was it because of the advertising and money that it can give the newspaper? You have to see the sides of the workers as well, if Ikea is saying they are paying more than the province standard, okey but has anyone asked how many hours a week a casual worker at Ikea is working per week? A part timer is only given 4-8 hrs a week! Sometimes 4 hr shift 2x a month.Can that be enough after paying rent and food? People are so easy to judge without even getting to the real truth! We need union to defend workers from greedy companies who don’t look after their workers but are so focused on profit.

  2. These are not true facts so maybe you should not judge until you hear both sides!!! I have worked for this company for 15 years and have not had a cost of living raise in 7 years!!!! How many of you have? I made more money at Safeway in 1995…The cost of everything has gone up and big company’s like these just want to pay-less and make more! (cut backs) They want to take away benefits that have made this a company I was proud to work for…years ago top 100, I would say bottom 100 at this point!

    If they wanted to make a profit maybe they should- keep the products in stock and have enough staff to help the customer’s. I could go on…START from the TOP if you are not making your sales goals because me and my co-workers have been working our ass off and getting no respect for years…happy workers make productive workers!

  3. the store makes between 80-100 million per year… I have worked their as a cashier for 19 yrs and the day before lockout I processed 243 transactions… this is a usual sunday… if the store is underperforming for the first time in 20 yrs it is management problem…. too many middle mgmt. no stock to sell Ikea took 1.4b in profit last year out of Canada… why are the powers that be financing the new store in Winnipeg? why do my co-workers have to rely on foodbank to eat? no benefits no hours and no management skills…. this is why we are out… thank god for union as most of us are making more outside on the line than we were inside…. shame on Ikea the new Swedish word for GREED…..IKEA

  4. When they built this brand new store they hired a ton of people and then didn’t give them any hours…. 13 cashiers 0 hrs for 3 wks prior to lockout…. and despite numerous labour relation losses on their half they still defy our labour laws. by the way our store has been training facility for all Ikea stores in Canada for yrs…..and held the record for recoveries in 2011 before they moved us into this monstrosity….and when I got in car accident they clawed back my single medical coverage by scheduling me 10 minutes shy of eligible coverage for 6 mths…this is not Bangladesh and it ain’t gonna be….. we are Canadian and union and proud of it …we work hard and when the old man ran the show we were treated well and out performed the country when I got there 19 yrs ago the dishwashers were making 17 per hr… now they make minimum wage and it will take 22 yrs to make that 17per hr. I don’t know who you think you are but you sure are ignorant and need to talk to the people affected not the abuser…

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