A Stena Line ferry off the coast of southern Sweden.
A Stena Line ferry off the coast of southern Sweden. Credit: Johan Nilsson / TT.

Ferry company accused of discriminating against Poles

Ferry company Stena Line has landed in some hot water after it was reported to the Swedish Equality Ombudsman for asking all passengers traveling from Poland to sign a contract stating that they will not disturb other guests.

Poles living in both Sweden and their native land tell Swedish Radio's local channel in Blekinge that they feel singled out and find the policy insulting since Stena Line did not ask anyone travelling from Sweden to Poland to sign a similar contract.

One man, Maciej Hoffmannn, recently reported Stena Line to the Swedish Equality Ombudsman, which investigates complaints of discrimination in the market place.

Born and raised on Poland's Baltic coast but now living in Sweden, Hoffmannn said he thinks the company should have the same rules for everyone.

"I can sign such a contact, but then everyone should sign it, not just Poles," he says.

Stena Line, which operates a ferry route from Karlskrona to the Polish port city of Gdynia, said the contracts were needed to remind passengers of the ship's safety rules after some rowdy behavior disrupted the cruises.

The operator started hosting journeys with live shows and other types of entertainment on these departures two years ago and quickly noticed that it led to more unruly passengers.

Stena Line's spokesperson in Sweden, Jesper Waltersson, declined to give an interview to Swedish Radio in Blekinge but said the company's office in Poland was evaluating the policy.

Our journalism is based on credibility and impartiality. Swedish Radio is independent and not affiliated to any political, religious, financial, public or private interests.
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