IKEA faces boycott in Poland after firing anti-LGBT employee

An Ikea branch

Poland has ordered an investigation into a branch of the furniture store IKEA after it fired an employee who posted an anti-LGBT comment on the company intranet.

Officials are reportedly considering a boycott of the retailer and Poland’s justice minister Zbigniew Ziobro has ordered the country’s prosecutor’s office to probe the case.

He described the incident as “unacceptable” and “absolutely scandalous”, if confirmed.

The former IKEA employee, identified by Polish public television network TVP Info as Tomasz K, said he was fired after he refused to take down a homophobic comment he posted on the firm’s internal site.

The comment, which he said included quotes from the Bible, was shared during an event showing solidarity with the LGBT+ community.

“I was shaken up, I’ve been hired to sell furniture but I’m a Catholic and these aren’t my values,” he said.

In a statement, IKEA said: “Last month we celebrated IDAHOT day, International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia.

“On this occasion, we published an article on our intranet, presenting our values ​​and position on this issue, in accordance with the communication of the Ingka Group.

IKEA released a statement (Screenshot/IKEA)

“One of our employees published a comment under the article, expressing his opinion in a way that could affect the rights and dignity of LGBT + people.

“In addition, the employee actually used quotes from the Old Testament about death, blood in the context of what fate should meet homosexual people. Many employees raised by this entry contacted our HR department.”

It continued: “The basis of our corporate culture is freedom of opinion, tolerance and respect for each employee.

“Our human rights and equality policy, supported by our Code of Conduct, addresses in particular non-tolerance for discrimination and exclusionary behaviour.

“We respect people from all religious backgrounds and appreciate the fact that we are different. This does not mean, however, that we support exclusionary behaviour in the name of any other view. IKEA is an open-minded company.”