United States Becomes Sweden’s Third-World Outsourcing Destination

FURNITURE JOBS“It’s ironic that IKEA looks on the U.S. and Danville the way that most people in the U.S. look at Mexico,” Street said.

When a large multinational corporation is looking to cut costs, what does it do? Send jobs overseas to a less modernized country — one where salaries are a fraction of those at home and the law provides few rights or protections for workers — and watch the profits roll in. We are speaking, of course, of Sweden’s IKEA, and Virginia, USA. Is this our economic future? Current reports:

Here we are, folks. Sweden’s third-world sweatshop. IKEA takes advantage of the destruction to our economy caused by outsourcing jobs by outsourcing their own jobs to the U.S. — and paying less than the workers in Sweden get ($8 in the U.S., $19 + better benefits in Sweden, for making the same products), about 50% of what the median income is in Danville (the town where IKEA’s sweatshop is located), with much stricter and abusive practices in the Danville facility, and with many less rights.

They even use the same reason for the poor pay that American corporations use for their poor pay of their own third-world sweatshops in India:

(quoting from the article): ” …She acknowledged the pay gap between factories in Europe and the U.S. ‘That is related to the standard of living and general conditions in the different countries,’ Steen said.”

40 Comments on "United States Becomes Sweden’s Third-World Outsourcing Destination"

  1. Looks like those fellers need to get themselves unionized.

  2. Looks like those fellers need to get themselves unionized.

    • PoliticalAmazon | Apr 11, 2011 at 2:16 pm |

      IKEA’s answer to their attempts to unionize (IKEA proudly supports unionization of their factories in Sweden) was to hire high-priced union-busting attorneys.

      • YodasEars | Apr 11, 2011 at 10:18 pm |

        But Swedish IKEA is disavowing the behaviour of American IKEA, and drawing attention to all that they do domestically for their staff. Their statement about this expresses an overwhelming facepalm at the American management…

  3. Nothing sweeter than reporting on half the facts. disinfo.com == theonion.com

  4. Nothing sweeter than reporting on half the facts. disinfo.com == theonion.com

    • E.B. Wolf | Apr 11, 2011 at 1:29 pm |

      Feel free to report the other half you’re insinuating right here.

      • I’m not holding my breath.

      • The other half is that the main purchaser of Ikea products is actually the US, so really IKEA is practically acting as an American company at this point.

        This is as opposed to American sweat shops in places like Mexico or China where the people working there could never afford the product, much less have it sold in the same country.

        • If they’re paying $8/hr, then their own workers probably _can’t_ afford much in the way of Ikea products, esp. if they’re trying to support a family.

    • PoliticalAmazon | Apr 11, 2011 at 2:15 pm |

      What is quoted above is my intro to the LATimes article I posted for discussion at Current.

      What are the “other half of the facts”?

      Go to the source article: http://current.com/news/93145290_look-ikea-has-made-the-u-s-its-third-world-sweatshop.htm

      Or, better yet, look up IKEA DANVILLE SWEATSHOP and see for yourself.

  5. E.B. Wolf | Apr 11, 2011 at 5:29 pm |

    Feel free to report the other half you’re insinuating right here.

  6. PoliticalAmazon | Apr 11, 2011 at 6:15 pm |

    What is quoted above is my intro to the LATimes article I posted for discussion at Current.

    What are the “other half of the facts”?

    Go to the source article: http://current.com/news/93145290_look-ikea-has-made-the-u-s-its-third-world-sweatshop.htm

    Or, better yet, look up IKEA DANVILLE SWEATSHOP and see for yourself.

  7. PoliticalAmazon | Apr 11, 2011 at 6:15 pm |

    What is quoted above is my intro to the LATimes article I posted for discussion at Current.

    What are the “other half of the facts”?

    Go to the source article: http://current.com/news/93145290_look-ikea-has-made-the-u-s-its-third-world-sweatshop.htm

    Or, better yet, look up IKEA DANVILLE SWEATSHOP and see for yourself.

  8. PoliticalAmazon | Apr 11, 2011 at 6:15 pm |

    What is quoted above is my intro to the LATimes article I posted for discussion at Current.

    What are the “other half of the facts”?

    Go to the source article: http://current.com/news/93145290_look-ikea-has-made-the-u-s-its-third-world-sweatshop.htm

    Or, better yet, look up IKEA DANVILLE SWEATSHOP and see for yourself.

  9. I’m not holding my breath.

  10. I’m not holding my breath.

  11. I’m not holding my breath.

  12. PoliticalAmazon | Apr 11, 2011 at 6:16 pm |

    IKEA’s answer to their attempts to unionize (IKEA proudly supports unionization of their factories in Sweden) was to hire high-priced union-busting attorneys.

  13. PoliticalAmazon | Apr 11, 2011 at 6:16 pm |

    IKEA’s answer to their attempts to unionize (IKEA proudly supports unionization of their factories in Sweden) was to hire high-priced union-busting attorneys.

  14. PoliticalAmazon | Apr 11, 2011 at 6:16 pm |

    IKEA’s answer to their attempts to unionize (IKEA proudly supports unionization of their factories in Sweden) was to hire high-priced union-busting attorneys.

  15. Anonymous | Apr 11, 2011 at 7:14 pm |

    The evidence is mounting, the USA has been in serious decline for over 30 years with the past 10 seeing the rapacious growth of multiple bubbles followed by rampant inflation. The value of an American workers paycheck has dropped before their very eyes, monetary magic.

    If you thought ignorant Americans were troublesome before just wait until they stop believing that they too can become rich and they must accept their fate as low paid laborers (if they are lucky enough to land a job).

    Ignorance + Desperation = masses ripe for a charismatic leader

  16. MoralDrift | Apr 11, 2011 at 3:14 pm |

    The evidence is mounting, the USA has been in serious decline for over 30 years with the past 10 seeing the rapacious growth of multiple bubbles followed by rampant inflation. The value of an American workers paycheck has dropped before their very eyes, monetary magic.

    If you thought ignorant Americans were troublesome before just wait until they stop believing that they too can become rich and they must accept their fate as low paid laborers (if they are lucky enough to land a job).

    Ignorance + Desperation = masses ripe for a charismatic leader

  17. Other Mr. T | Apr 11, 2011 at 7:37 pm |

    What’s the big deal about foreign companies finding American ‘right-to-work’ state labor costs cheaper than their own countires? This isn’t news, it’s been going on for at least 10 years with just about every foreign car company doing it here. Let me know when you discover American prison labor being used by foreign corporations to lay off Americans who they’ve hired as part-timers and been paying less than $10 per hour to get state and federal tax abatements and no interest business loans to use as start up capital for speculative investment ventures in other (China) countries.You are behind the news curve Jacob Sloane!

  18. Other Mr. T | Apr 11, 2011 at 3:37 pm |

    What’s the big deal about foreign companies finding American ‘right-to-work’ state labor costs cheaper than their own countires? This isn’t news, it’s been going on for at least 10 years with just about every foreign car company doing it here. Let me know when you discover American prison labor being used by foreign corporations to lay off Americans who they’ve hired as part-timers and been paying less than $10 per hour to get state and federal tax abatements and no interest business loans to use as start up capital for speculative investment ventures in other (China) countries.You are behind the news curve Jacob Sloane!

  19. Mamagriff50 | Apr 11, 2011 at 8:23 pm |

    I have read up on IKEA, sounds just like a sweat shop over here, just like what our companies do outside the US. I will purchase nothing made by IKEA,And tell my friends to do the same.

  20. Mamagriff50 | Apr 11, 2011 at 4:23 pm |

    I have read up on IKEA, sounds just like a sweat shop over here, just like what our companies do outside the US. I will purchase nothing made by IKEA,And tell my friends to do the same.

    • mrtastycakes | Apr 11, 2011 at 7:29 pm |

      That’s asinine. Even if your 3-person boycott worked, do you think IKEA would improve their conditions? Or would they move their operations to a cheaper country with worse labor standards, never to be reported on again?

  21. mrtastycakes | Apr 11, 2011 at 11:29 pm |

    That’s asinine. Even if your 3-person boycott worked, do you think IKEA would improve their conditions? Or would they move their operations to a cheaper country with worse labor standards, never to be reported on again?

  22. Does this mean we finally get some jobs?

  23. Does this mean we finally get some jobs?

  24. YodasEars | Apr 12, 2011 at 2:18 am |

    But Swedish IKEA is disavowing the behaviour of American IKEA, and drawing attention to all that they do domestically for their staff. Their statement about this expresses an overwhelming facepalm at the American management…

  25. The other half is that the main purchaser of Ikea products is actually the US, so really IKEA is practically acting as an American company at this point.

    This is as opposed to American sweat shops in places like Mexico or China where the people working there could never afford the product, much less have it sold in the same country.

  26. Bud Bundy | Apr 12, 2011 at 8:44 am |

    Bring some of those jobs over here!

  27. Bud Bundy | Apr 12, 2011 at 4:44 am |

    Bring some of those jobs over here!

  28. Anonymous | Apr 12, 2011 at 5:22 pm |

    If they’re paying $8/hr, then their own workers probably _can’t_ afford much in the way of Ikea products, esp. if they’re trying to support a family.

  29. Congratulations neo-cons and Reaganites and Chicago School Friedman-lovers…you did it! We are finally becoming the cheap third world country we need to be so that jobs can come trickling back down to us…at a fraction of their original wages. Isn’t it beautiful? It smells like…like…like…

    …actually it smells like New Delhi on a hot summer day…that mixture of poverty, weak infrastructure and death that chokes the nostrils and makes you comfortable with the idea of dying to get away from it all.

  30. Congratulations neo-cons and Reaganites and Chicago School Friedman-lovers…you did it! We are finally becoming the cheap third world country we need to be so that jobs can come trickling back down to us…at a fraction of their original wages. Isn’t it beautiful? It smells like…like…like…

    …actually it smells like New Delhi on a hot summer day…that mixture of poverty, weak infrastructure and death that chokes the nostrils and makes you comfortable with the idea of dying to get away from it all.

  31. Antredsoda | Apr 13, 2011 at 11:09 am |

    It is funny to me to see so many here blame Ikea and not the U.S government.
    As pointed out, Ikea in Europe takes better care of its employees but to the demands of the Governments concerned – Should one not be wondering why the U.S government has not put more regulations in place to protect and assist it’s workforce? Rather than blaming “someone” taking advantage of a good deal?

  32. Antredsoda | Apr 13, 2011 at 7:09 am |

    It is funny to me to see so many here blame Ikea and not the U.S government.
    As pointed out, Ikea in Europe takes better care of its employees but to the demands of the Governments concerned – Should one not be wondering why the U.S government has not put more regulations in place to protect and assist it’s workforce? Rather than blaming “someone” taking advantage of a good deal?

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