A labor union was established at IKEA Korea on Feb. 20. It has been six years since it entered the Korean market. The number of workers working at IKEA Korea is about 1,700.
The labor union claims that IKEA Korea's various labor schedules are ruining the work and life balance of its members and that the pay is practically nothing more than the minimum wage level.
According to the labor union, workers at IKEA Korea work under various working-hour systems, including 16, 20, 25, 28, 32, and 40 hours per week. The company explained that it aims to provide flexible work patterns to women who have broken their careers, retirees, and students who work and study at the same time.
However, the union refused the management's claim, saying, "The flexible work system makes it difficult for workers to organize stable work schedules, and it is difficult to do other things at the same time because it is not operated on a fixed scale."
It also claimed that low wages are also hurting workers. "The company says it's a high hourly wage, but when compared with other large retailers, it's not high, and it is just as low as the minimum wage," said an official at IKEA.
In addition, it criticized IKEA Korea's bureaucratic system, which adds pain to workers at the workplace.
According to the union, wages for workers at IKEA field who work full-time are made up of only hourly wages. Although the hourly wage is higher than the minimum wage, there are no basic salaries, food expenses, and bonuses.
Regular workers who work full-time for 40 hours a week earn only 1.9 million to 2 million won a month. “Workers at the company are doing well, but they are being treated lower than their branch offices in other countries,” union officials claimed.