IKEA is the darling of every young, up and coming progressive. It has an image that is trendy and cool, its stores are bright,open and welcoming.
But IKEA has some dark corners:
SWEDISH retail giant Ikea has made a grovelling apology after confessing it used forced labour from communist East Germany to make its flatpack furniture.
The company admitted some of its suppliers used political prisoners and convicts arrested by the brutal Stasi police to produce furniture in the 1970s and 1980s.
A shocking report, released yesterday, also detailed how some managers were “aware of the possibility that political prisoners would be used to manufacture Ikea products”.
The report was triggered after Swedish journalists exposed the practice in an explosive documentary earlier this year.
But the firm admitted today it was in the wrong and said: “At the time we did not yet have the well-organised control system we have today and clearly did not do enough to prevent this type of production method.”
Jeanette Skjelmose, Ikea’s sustainability manager, apologised saying: “We deeply regret that this could happen. The use of political prisoners in production has not been accepted at any time.”
Rainer Wagner, chairman of the victims’ group UOKG, said IKEA was just one of many companies that benefited from the use of forced prison labour in East Germany from the 1960s to 1980s.
Mr Wagner said: “Ikea is only the tip of the iceberg.”