BWI on IKEA’s dismissal of trade union leader in Poland

The Building and Wood Workers’ International (BWI) expresses great concern regarding the dismissal of trade union leader Dariusz Kawka at the IKEA Industry's factory in Lubawa, Poland. The chairman of the local trade union organisation NSZZ "Solidarność" was fired by the company management regardless of protests from trade union members, and despite the order issued by the State Labour Inspectorate affirming the legal protection mechanisms that apply to trade union leaders in Poland.  

While the IKEA Industry has declared that the company is committed to complying with international standards, including the ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, the situation in Poland shows that its management’s actions do not respect these commitments. BWI and its Global IKEA Trade Union Network members see the developments as an alarming act of intervening in trade union affairs. The dismissal of the trade union leader shows a lack of understanding on the freedom and rights of trade unionists within Polish and international laws.

Despite NSZZ "Solidarność" attempts to initiate the negotiation process regarding Kawka's dismissal and the legal grounds for such an act, the IKEA management, to this date, has not shown any willingness to open dialogue. Meanwhile, Dariusz continues to get support from workers and trade union members at IKEA factories in Poland and remains an elected trade union leader at the Lubawa factory. 

In the spirit of international solidarity and open dialogue, BWI calls on IKEA's management in Poland to immediately reinstate Darius Kawka, awaiting the legal process in line with the protection of trade union leaders within the Polish Labour Law, and initiate a meaningful dialogue with the Polish trade unions regarding the protection of elected trade union leaders in accordance with national and international labour standards.