Wood flooring produced through prison labour 'broke laws'
Flooring which had been partly produced by U.S. prisoners was found to be breaking Canadian import laws by shipping the products in to the country.
Prisoners in America are often used by manufacturers to complete certain tasks and with flooring this often includes scraping wood to create the popular distressed or rustic wood flooring look.
Although the news has created a lot of controversy it is entirely legal to use prisoners for work as it will form part of the rehabilitation programme.
The problem was that these floors were then exported to Canada, which the country prohibits in legislation and many other countries, including America use, have similar laws to prevent potential exploitation.
Shaw Industries Group Inc. were the company responsible for exporting the wooden floors but were said to be unaware of Canada’s laws against the practices.
The company were one of several U.S. flooring firms accusing Chinese flooring imports of breaking American laws last year in the engineered floors scandal.
Fortunately the firm do not anticipate any penalties and hope to continue exporting to Canada once the offending products – suspected to be only a small number – are replaced by floors which weren’t produced through prison labour.