MEWA

3:30am.

Wakeup alarm shrieks.

Today I’ll have to get up with the boys.

 

Monday, first day to work.

Still sleeping during breakfast and assembly.

There is a large prison bus with iron bars in front of the windows.

 

The drive through town takes 15 minutes.

This is my first time in months to see a street and civilians.

And I am really, really happy to be in this bus and not on the outside!

MEWA Naumburg. The factory used political prisoners to work for IKEA as it is known since 2011.

MEWA Naumburg. The factory used political prisoners to work for IKEA as it is known since 2011.


The bus stops at a large factory hall.

I receive safety instructions all morning.

I’m sure I won’t be friends with the foreman!


They call it MEWA.

Furniture manufacturing.

30% is operated by prisoners.


Our part is carefully separated from the rest of the campus.

There are double door systems everywhere.

Even the foreman is locked in with us.


I can’t comprehend why someone would want a job like this, the foreman.

Middle age, not the sharpest tool in the shed if yo ask me.

Well, they might pay him too well.


The work is stupid and simple: forming metal drawer runners.

There are huge, decades old, dark green press punch machines.

I’m supposed to make 2200 parts a shift, I made 80 in my first hour.


This will be interesting!