Ikea’s cheap American labour

Ikea workers in the United States get paid less and have fewer vacation days than their Swedish counterparts.

Laborers in Swedwood plants in Sweden produce bookcases and tables similar to those manufactured in Danville. The big difference is that the Europeans enjoy a minimum wage of about $19 an hour and a government-mandated five weeks of paid vacation. Full-time employees in Danville start at $8 an hour with 12 vacation days — eight of them on dates determined by the company.

Insert joke about how the tables have turned, albeit with a sprained-wrist from two hours of wrestling flatpack furniture.

Update: Joe Clark indicated to me that the company isn’t “Swedish”, so it’s not like the Swedes are getting any sort of preferential treatment — most European countries get a lot more vacation time than North Americans. Also, it’s interesting to note that Sweden doesn’t actually have a minimum wage — their salaries are set by collective bargaining (that’s where it helps to have unions).