FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
November 16, 2012
Diaz-Balart Commends IKEA’s Transparency in Slave Labor Controversy
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) offered the following statement on IKEA’s release of the results of the investigation after IKEA was accused of working with the Cuban regime to use prisoner slave labor to manufacture furniture.
“Yesterday, IKEA released the results of a months-long investigation, which involved sifting through thousands of documents and archived materials by an outside group, to uncover the extent of its former business contacts with the Castro regime.
“The study could not definitely conclude that Cuban political prisoners had no involvement in the manufacture of IKEA products. However, it did reveal that there was no evidence that IKEA products were manufactured with forced labor, nor was there evidence that IKEA had any knowledge of the use of political prisoners at any step in its manufacturing process. The study also revealed that IKEA’s business relationship with the Castro dictatorship was short-lived and extended only to the production of seventy-one sofa set samples which ultimately failed to meet quality standards.
“I commend IKEA’s serious investigation into its past contacts with the brutal, oppressive Castro dictatorship. Other businesses with objectionable past behavior or shameful business relationships should take note that facing the truth is better than attempting to bury it. I hope that IKEA will continue to examine any new evidence that could shed light on its contacts with the Castro regime, and that it will listen to any new witnesses who may come forward in the future.
“Since 2000, IKEA has followed a strict code of conduct that absolutely prohibits slave or prison labor. At this point, IKEA appears to have charted a better course that will avoid the mistakes of its past.”