Wednesday, November 25, 2009

i thought i knew you, ikea.

received news a few days ago that ikea made the 2010 Sweatshop Hall of Shame. does this come earth shatteringly shocking to anyone else? maybe i'm just a naive bum who likes furniture that caters to inept instruction readers who offer clean lines and organizational aid galore. or maybe i was just happy living in an oblivious state because it means less effort searching and quick assembly. or maybe i was assuming that because they were a Swedish company they were especially sweet and progressive. apparently not. i tend to idealize Scandinavians. mais, voila. je suis fini avec ikea. je les deteste, maintenant.

here's the article from off labor rights website. sigh :

The Sweatshop Hall of Shame 2010 highlights apparel and textile companies that use sweatshops in their global production. Hall of Shame inductees are responsible for evading fair labor standards and often are slow to respond or provide no response at all to any attempts by the International Labor Rights Forum (ILRF), workers, or others to improve working conditions.

The official inductees of the 2010 Sweatshop Hall of Shame are: Abercrombie and Fitch, Gymboree, Hanes, Ikea, Kohl’s, LL Bean, Pier 1 Imports, Propper International, and Walmart. This list also includes an Honorable Mention to the American Apparel and Footwear Association, a national trade association representing apparel and footwear companies. This association has exhibited a flagrant disregard for workers’ rights by primarily focusing on maintaining trade with Honduras in the middle of a military coup.

Most of the companies listed employ laborers who toil for long hours under dangerous working conditions for poverty wages. When these workers attempt to form a union to voice their collective concerns, they face threats from management and risk being fired or even beaten. Many of this years’ inductees use suppliers that practice illegal tactics to suppress workers’ rights to organize. Some of the companies mentioned weave shame into their clothing by continuing to use cotton sourced from Uzbekistan where harvesting is accomplished through forced child labor.

Though this list highlights the most abhorrent of companies, they are certainly not the only offenders. They represent a mere sample of a global industry in which brands have persistently flouted the rights of workers for more than a decade.

I am eight pages deep in my art history term paper and all i want to do is crawl into bed with my Irish literature and eventually slip into peaceful sleep.


  1. beth, i am so excited to be blogworld friends again. je suis fini avec ikea, aussi, je suis triste. j'ai triste. do you have sadness, or are you sad? i haven't written anything on my blogspot, but i will.
    happy american thanksgiving.

  2. I support you. No more Ikea. One day, when we have million of dollars we can have an Ikea bonfire!

    (Yeyayayayayya!) The brackets are to indicate general silliness that probably only we enjoy.