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October 22, 2021

Ethnic Roma are working for IKEA, almost for free

200 ethnic Roma – adults and children – are hard at work on the 5.1 hectares bought by IKEA from the ‘Timpuri Noi’ factory, helping the Swedish retailer get rid of the scrap iron present all over the place, ‘Romania Libera’ newspaper reports. The activity is very profitable, says the leader of one of these clandestine teams. “Each of us earns roughly RON 50-70 from the sale of the iron, depending on how lucky we are,” one of the workers explained. The Romanian Gendarmerie, which initially frowned at this activity – quite strange for a central area of Bucharest – explains: “The management of the Timpuri Noi company allowed them to clear the area, because by January 15 they must turn the land to a company that will build a mall. So, it is with their approval that they took the scrap iron, because they must clear the land.” Antoniu Panait, general manager of Interprime Properties, the company controlled by the real estate investment division of IKEA, did not want to comment on the phone the status of the Roma that are helping him remove the scrap iron from the area.

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