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Martin Murray

IKEA Regrets Forced Labor

By November 16, 2012

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IKEA Although some consumers believe that IKEA furniture looks like it was designed for use in correctional facilities, it appears now that some of it was probably made by inmates in correctional facilities in the former communist country of East Germany. An audit by Ernst and Young, which was commissioned by IKEA, found that some IKEA suppliers in the 1980's used prison inmates as forced labor in the manufacturer of IKEA products.

The E&Y audit found that state-owned companies in East Germany often used prisoners as workers because of labor shortages and that IKEA purchased items from these companies. The audit suggested that IKEA did raise concerns with the Eat German government about the use of forced labor, but no action was taken. The audit has also raised the question that some of the manufacturing on the items sold to IKEA was subcontracted to Cuban manufacturers.

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November 23, 2012 at 5:49 am
(1) Charles Hidayat says:

IKEA makes nice stuff, good for the masses and obviously the forced labor thing was out of their control, or at least we assume that.

November 23, 2012 at 8:17 pm
(2) Chris Westhuizen says:

IKEA executives must have known, this is a company that does it’s due diligence. I don’t buy their “we didn’t know” excuse.

November 25, 2012 at 12:43 am
(3) Norm Martinez says:

IKEA is a weird company, I have no doubt that someone at that company knew what was going on. They spend thousands of hours on R&D and design, I can’t believe that they didn’t spend a few hours checking out where some suspect East German subcontractor was getting its staff.

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