guest workers ripped off

Police Investigate Berry Picking Scandal

Swedish Radio News reports that the police have begun an investigation into the scandal which resulted in 160 Thais who came to Sweden to pick berries this summer being deprived of almost all of their wages.

After two months of the hard work in the Swedish forests, the berry-pickers received less than 900 dollars each in pay. The rest of their wages disappeared when the head of the Lomsjö company emptied the company’s bank accounts and vanished.

Most of the berry-pickers have now begun their journey home, with almost nothing for their work. Thirty-eight of the Thais are remaining in Sweden, hoping to somehow recover their lost wages.

 Bert-Rune Dahlberg of the Åsele Municipal Council tells Swedish Radio News there won’t be a berry-picking season there next year if the system isn’t changed.

According to reports, prospective berry-pickers are painted a glowing story of how easy it is to earn vast sums in Sweden, only to face a reality of harsh working conditions and sometimes expenses that outweigh their slim wages.