Ikea Used Political Prisoners As Slave Labor

Photo: Alexander Kaiser (CC)

Photo: Alexander Kaiser (CC)

Like many global companies mass producing goods, Ikea has a past of unjust labor. The Telegraph reports:

Ikea developed strong links with the communist state in the 1970s, opening a number of manufacturing facilities, one of which, according to Stasi records discovered by German television company WDR, used political prisoners to construct sofas.

The factory in Waldheim stood next to a prison, and inmates were used as unpaid labour, it is claimed. Gaols in the Democratic Republic housed significant numbers of political prisoners, with some estimates indicating they made up at least 20 per cent of the entire prison population.

Quoted in a Stasi file, Ingvar Kamprad, Ikea’s founder, said while he had no official knowledge of the use of prison labour, if it did indeed exist “in the opinion of Ikea it would be in society’s interests.”

[Continues at The Telegraph]

17 Comments on "Ikea Used Political Prisoners As Slave Labor"

  1. Anonymous | Sep 6, 2011 at 6:13 pm |

    reason number 52 why NOT to ever shop here.

  2. Jin The Ninja | Sep 6, 2011 at 2:13 pm |

    reason number 52 why NOT to ever shop here.

    • Anarchy Pony | Sep 6, 2011 at 3:23 pm |

      What are the other 51?

      • Jin The Ninja | Sep 6, 2011 at 3:33 pm |

        1-3 deal with the fact, ikea is ‘held’ by a ‘non profit company’ (which it obviously is not) , deforestation of pine forests, and the owner being a nazi. 4 is the fact ikea opened plants in the US and offered no benefits and absolute rock bottom min wages. 5 has to do with sustainability and consumerism (disposable furniture)

        the other 45 reasons are varying degrees of vintage (mid century, space age, danish, industrial) and reclaimed furniture. which is infinetly cooler /more beautfiul. 51 is simply an aesthetic preferance. and 52 you already know.

  3. Wanooski | Sep 6, 2011 at 7:23 pm |

    What are the other 51?

  4. Anonymous | Sep 6, 2011 at 7:33 pm |

    1-3 deal with the fact, ikea is ‘held’ by a ‘non profit company’ (which it obviously is not) , deforestation of pine forests, and the owner being a nazi. 4 is the fact ikea opened plants in the US and offered no benefits and absolute rock bottom min wages. 5 has to do with sustainability and consumerism (disposable furniture)

    the other 45 reasons are varying degrees of vintage (mid century, space age, danish, industrial) and reclaimed furniture. which is infinetly cooler /more beautfiul. 51 is simply an aesthetic preferance. and 52 you already know.

  5. Anonymous | Sep 6, 2011 at 7:33 pm |

    1-3 deal with the fact, ikea is ‘held’ by a ‘non profit company’ (which it obviously is not) , deforestation of pine forests, and the owner being a nazi. 4 is the fact ikea opened plants in the US and offered no benefits and absolute rock bottom min wages. 5 has to do with sustainability and consumerism (disposable furniture)

    the other 45 reasons are varying degrees of vintage (mid century, space age, danish, industrial) and reclaimed furniture. which is infinetly cooler /more beautfiul. 51 is simply an aesthetic preferance. and 52 you already know.

  6. 53 their stuff is not durable at all 

  7. OK I get why it is terrible to have political prisoners.  I don’t get why it is so bad to have prisoners building sofas.

  8. OK I get why it is terrible to have political prisoners.  I don’t get why it is so bad to have prisoners building sofas.

    • Butter Knife | Sep 6, 2011 at 10:47 pm |

      Out of context, prisoners building sofas is at least partially constructive. But if they aren’t being paid, and many of them should not be imprisoned at all, then it’s very slimy to have them doing so… especially when a private company is able to reap the profits from it.

    • It takes jobs from law-abiding sofa-builders.

  9. Butter Knife | Sep 7, 2011 at 2:47 am |

    Out of context, prisoners building sofas is at least partially constructive. But if they aren’t being paid, and many of them should not be imprisoned at all, then it’s very slimy to have them doing so… especially when a private company is able to reap the profits from it.

  10. It takes jobs from law-abiding sofa-builders.

  11. You will have to pry my slave built Knutson table from my cold, dead hands.

  12. You will have to pry my slave built Knutson table from my cold, dead hands.

Comments are closed.