Swedish home furnishings company IKEA is investigating drivers’ working conditions at the trucking company it uses in Europe, Bring Trucking, which is owned by Norway’s postal service Posten. At the same time, the international transport workers’ union ITF has launched a campaign against IKEA.
“We sympathize with the drivers here, and are looking into this,” IKEA spokesperson Siv Egger Westin told newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN) after the BBC reported last week that drivers for Bring’s unit in Slovakia earn less that GBP 3 an hour and have to live in their trucks. “Through IKEA Transport we’re in dialogue with Bring Trucking to check the drivers’ pay and working conditions,” she told DN.
Posten has flatly denied that its Bring drivers in Europe suffer from low pay and poor working conditions. IKEA contracts with Bring for deliveries all over Europe, and Westin claimed IKEA has an ethical standard for pay, resting time and job contracts. “Bring is responsible for making sure our standards are upheld,” Westing told DN.
The ITF, meanwhile, is carrying out an international campaign against IKEA, to pressure the company into ensuring that truckers hauling goods for the Swedish company don’t work shifts that are too long, for low pay. Westin repeated that the transport firms it uses must meet its standards.
Posten spokesman John Eckhoff claimed it had a “good and ongoing dialogue” with IKEA, calling it a “large and important customer for us. We have nothing to hide.”