Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

IKEA Shares Portland's Values?

The liberal Willamette Week stated:
Nobody has tried seriously to unionize a U.S. IKEA store. Wal-Mart has faced numerous labor lawsuits
Well, none of the IKEA stores in the U.S. are unionized, just as no Wal-Mart stores are unionized. How does that make IKEA better, especially since IKEA is based in a country where 90% of the workers are union?

But should you foolishly think IKEA is a worker's paradise, read on:

Canada's only unionized IKEA closed by strike

Strikes at IKEA in Paris

Even workers in the store's homeland don't seem to be happy

As far as being a "responsible community member," The central purpose of IKEA’s intricate corporate structure appears to be tax avoidance. By funneling its profits through a nonprofit foundation and through a string of shell corporations in various tax havens, IKEA drastically reduces the tax burden it would face with a more straightforward corporate organization.

The Berne Declaration, a not-for-profit organization in Switzerland that promotes corporate responsibility, has formally criticized IKEA for its tax avoidance strategies. In 2007, the Berne Declaration nominated IKEA for one of its Public Eye “awards,” which highlight corporate irresponsibility and are announced during the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

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