IKEA examines ethical claims

7 April 2009

8 April 2009 | Jake Kanter

IKEA has been criticised over working conditions at one of its Turkish suppliers by an ethical standards group.

The Future In Our Hands (FIOH) said the multinational retailer failed to act on what it claims are "unacceptable" and "hazardous" working standards at textile vendor Menderes Tekstil.

The Norway-based pressure group said four workers died in the past ten years because of poor health and safety measures at the supplier - the most recent when a worker fell into a heating machine in November last year.

FIOH made several other accusations, including a suggestion that workers were offered "large sums of money" to stop them making complaints about the conditions.

An IKEA spokeswoman said the company was taking the accusations "very seriously" and was determined to resolve them.

But she added the company and independent third-party auditors had already conducted several investigations at Menderes Tekstil.

"Neither the third-party auditor nor IKEA found evidence of serious safety violations or systematic actions towards employees associated to a trade union," a statement said.

IKEA is not the only high-profile company to come under scrutiny for ethical standards in recent times. Clothing giant Primark came under intense scrutiny in January when The Observer and the BBC claimed to have found poor conditions for employees at the retailer's Manchester-based vendor TNS Knitwear.

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