Republika Srpska: Good union-management relations at IKEA supplier

BWI’s “IKEA Workers’ Caravan of Stories” shares the story of how good union-management relations at a workplace in Republika Srpska resulted in good working conditions for IKEA supply workers and increased productivity for the company. 

According to Damir Pećanac, a trade union leader at D.I. Standard, an IKEA supplier in Prnjavor, Republika Srpska, said that the union and management’s good partnership coaxed the company to respect workers’ rights. 

Pećanac, who has been working for the company for the last 15 years, said that the union has regular meetings with the management, with most of the issues raised by workers addressed during the said meetings. On sensitive matters and concerns, he said that the union asks the assistance of public authorities and trade union experts.

Pećanac said that the company observes regular working hours and overtime regulations. He reported that both the union and management recently agreed to the redistribution of working time for the last two months of this year, as the company foresees work interruption in January of next year due to its effort to improve the workplace’s ventilation system.

The trade union leader explained that the company’s decision to improve its ventilation is one of its responses to COVID-19’s occupational health and safety challenges. He also said that the company did not resort to any termination of work contracts since the start of the pandemic.     

D.I. Standard became IKEA’s supplier in the country in 2000, with only 90 workers. This dramatically changed four years later when the Swiss company Daccomet AG purchased 84.5 percent of Standard’s shares leading to the improvement of the company's equipment and facilities, more skills trainings for workers and increased production. 

Currently, D.I Standard employs 300 workers. 

The “IKEA Workers’ Caravan of Stories” is a BWI campaign to enable IKEA workers in different countries to share with one another their working lives and experiences. For this story, the BWI-affiliated Trade Union of Forestry, Wood Processing and Paper of Republika Srpska (SSPDPRS) helped in conducting the interview.