Despite having the sort of upwardly mobile creative class brand equity enjoyed by places like Starbucks, Ikea—perhaps because it’s not based in America—has not been subjected to the same level of scrutiny over its labor practices that other big, identifiable retailers and service industry companies have received. It is apparent by today’s announcement, though, that Ikea is not a significantly more lucrative place to work than most other craphouse retail chains: “Starting Jan. 1, Ikea’s average minimum hourly wage will increase to $11.87, which is $4.62 above the current federal wage and marks a $1.11 increase, or 10 percent, from this year’s average minimum pay.” The story does note that this will raise Ikea’s “average hourly wage” over $15 per hour—the mark that progressives and the labor movement want to see set as the minimum hourly wage nationally.
Is Ikea an employee-friendly workplace? Is it well managed? Does it follow labor law at every store? Are the working conditions and pay rates as enlightened as the company’s reputation? I don’t know. But I’d like to hear from Ikea employees who would like to tell us. If you work at Ikea, please email me and let me know what it’s like, and what you think of the company’s announced pay raise. Enough? Just a drop in the bucket? Corporate heaven, or corporate hell?