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The Boston Globe

Business

Ikea used forced labor in ’80s, probe says

BERLIN — Ikea has long been famous for its inexpensive, some-assembly-required furniture. On Friday the company admitted that political prisoners in the former East Germany provided some of the labor that helped it keep its prices so low.

A report by auditors at Ernst & Young concluded that Ikea, a Swedish company, knowingly benefited from forced labor in the former East Germany to manufacture some of its products in the 1980s. Ikea had commissioned the report in May as a result of accusations that both political and criminal prisoners were involved in making components of Ikea furniture and that some Ikea employees knew about it.

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