"Ikea is changing," says the management of the group, which obviously does not use the words "social plan". However, it is well one that is announced, and which is likely to be of magnitude, fears the CGT. In France, "129 assistants and HR managers will lose their position in one way or another (the door, demotion, transfer …)," says the union, which warns that this is a first wave , announced in the works council on March 19th. A second should follow and could be announced as early as May; still others threaten by 2022. The union expected the ax to fall in France since the group announced last November the abolition of 7,500 jobs worldwide. "All the major countries where the company has established had announced early job cuts, except in France, where the company has a good image and excellent health, says Hocine Redouani, central union representative CGT at Ikea. The announcement is all the more shocking that the company is doing very well. On May 6th, the first store will open in Paris within the walls of the Madeleine, and another will arrive in Nice by the beginning of the school year … »
Vendors are forced to become logisticians
To justify itself, the management has only one word in the mouth: Amazon. The Swedish chain wants to align with the methods of the American giant and transform little by little its periphery department stores into warehouses and deliver in the city center. "In our furniture sector, we are number one in the world, with nearly 40 billion euros in sales. We do not have real competitors. Our bosses compare us to Amazon, but we are not on the same ground as them, "replies Hocine Redouani. For the unionist, it is rather to increase its margins that the management of Ikea eyeing with envy to the American giant. As a result, more and more sellers are forced to become logisticians. A strategy challenged by the CGT, which wants to keep all jobs and do not turn the department stores into Amazon factories, where the working conditions are deplorable and employees flirted every moment. "Whether it's 50 or 500 jobs, it's just as unacceptable. We do not fire in a group that makes so many profits and opens new stores every year, "said Hocine Redouani.
The other unions in the group seem more inclined to support strategic change. The CFDT requires expertise, "to know the strategy of the company and especially its consequences on the employment, skills and well-being of employees," says the union in a statement that "regrets the lack of anticipation This change has resulted in a deterioration of the working conditions of employees for several years. The management wants to give pledges: if it is about to remove 209 administrative positions, it ensures to create 160 in the logistics services. Problem: In Germany, where Ikea has made good progress towards a model at Amazon, the group's warehouses are highly automated and the workforce is mostly outsourced. The second wave of layoffs to come in France looks more bloody, all services should be affected, including stores, with sellers and cashiers on the front line. "Since the death of the founder of Ikea, more than a year ago, the situation is deteriorating for all employees, says Hocine Redouani. He was not an angel, he was a rather paternalistic boss, but his successors are guided by pure financial logic. "