Atlanta Ikea Staff Told They Won't Be Paid For Juneteenth Holiday

MEXICO CITY, MEXICO - APRIL 08: General view of IKEA store during the opening day of the first store of the Swedish home furnishing brand IKEA in Mexico City at Encuentro Oceania shopping mall on April 08, 2021 in Mexico City, Mexico. Photo: Hector Vivas/Getty Images

Employees at an Ikea store in Atlanta, Georgia are outraged after a series of offensive incidents have taken place on and around Juneteenth. Things first took a turn for the worse when the Atlanta store introduced a Juneteenth-themed menu at its in-store restaurant. The offensive menu included fried chicken, watermelon, macaroni cheese and collard greens. After learning of the gesture, many workers were frustrated and angry. As a result, many employees called out from work and even considered quitting.

"You cannot say serving watermelon on Juneteenth is a soul food menu when you don't even know the history -- they used to feed slaves watermelon during the slavery time," one employee told CBS News.

"It caused a lot of people to be upset. People actually wanted to quit. People weren't coming back to work.”

In the aftermath of the debacle, the store issued a public apology. A manager at the store claimed that the menu was put together with the "best of intentions" and they did not intend to offend anyone.

"I truly apologize if the menu came off as subjective,” an email to employees read.

“It was created with the best of intentions by a few of our coworkers who believed they were representing their culture and tradition with these foods of celebration."

Despite the apology, some employees and customers were still frustrated with what happened.

"I'm just frankly disappointed in the learning process – you shouldn't learn after you have insulted all of your Black employees," one customer told WGCL-TV in Georgia.

Unfortunately, things have only gotten worse since Juneteenth. According to a report from Shon Gabels of WGCL-TV, employees at the Ikea location in Atlanta have recently learned that they will not receive holiday pay for the federal holiday. This runs contrary to previous statements that Ikea reportedly made indicating the employees would receive holiday pay for Juneteenth.

Ikea nor the employees at the Atlanta location have issued a public statement regarding the matter.

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