Ford axes iron supplier, cites slavery charge

Nov 03, 2006 | 04:05 PM | Philip Burgert

Ford Motor Co., Dearborn, Mich., has confirmed that it has ceased purchasing from an Illinois supplier after a magazine reported that its Brazilian source of pig iron was using slave labor.

The company dropped National Material Trading Co., Elk Grove Village, Ill., after reporters from Bloomberg Markets magazine approached Ford about the labor issue in early October, a Ford spokesman said Friday.

The lengthy report in the magazine's December edition was published on Bloomberg News Thursday.

"Our intent is to work with National Material Trading to develop a supply chain that is free of forced labor," the Ford spokesman said, adding that the company had re-sourced pig iron for its Cleveland casting plant while investigating the situation. "These are serious allegations and we took immediate action," he added.....

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