IKEA Israel today announced that it will hire almost 300 employees for its new store in Kiryat Ata, near Haifa, which is due to open in first half of 2014. The company said that all management positions at the new store have been filled, mostly by managers at its Netanya and Rishon LeZion stores who have been promoted. This means that most of the available jobs are in services, sales, logistics, and the store restaurant.
IKEA Israel says that the new employees will receive "job training, corporate team building and parties, annual bonuses, birthday presents, courses and activities on a range of subjects related to other aspects of employees' lives, such as parenting and a healthy lifestyle, as well as miscellaneous welfare benefits."
On the other hand, many IKEA employees have complained over the years that the many benefits are accompanied by low salaries that approach the minimum wage. Employees at the Netanya and Rishon LeZion stores have been unionizing with the Histadrut (General Federation of Labor in Israel), but the process has been slow, and at the moment there do not appear to be enough unionized employees to force management to open negotiations on a collective labor contract.
The opening of the third store will probably further hinder the unionization, because although a labor court ruling states that in workplaces undergoing initial unionization, it is possible to recognize the union at just one unit or branch, IKEA Israel's management can argue that it will recognize the union only if all the company's employees nationwide join the union. This means more than 1,000 employees at all three stores.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on October 27, 2013
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