Sunday, October 24, 2010

Vietnamese Berry Pickers Cheated In Sweden - Then Enslaved In Other EU Lands

A modern form of slave labor spreads from Sweden to other EU Lands.  Today the workers arrive in airplanes from Asia rather than slave ships from Africa.

The Saga of the imported Berry Pickers in Sweden continues, but with a twist.  Our story starts with a group of 290 Vietnamese Berry Pickers who were lured to Sweden with promises of high wages, but again deceived and cheated and ending up in heavy debt as the Chinese and Thai workers have, but with a twist.  Of this group of 290 imported workers, only 126 have returned home to Vietnam.  The rest have remained in Europe to work off their debt to the Employment Agency named TTLC, that hired them and brought them to Sweden reports Swedish Radio Ekot.

"I have to stay in Europe and work here for 2 more years to be able to pay off my debt," said Huong who now works in a restaurant in Warsaw, Poland for 3,500 swedish crowns per month (about 525 USD).

To have a better understanding of the history of the Berry Pickers dilemma, I recommend you read my previous blog entries on Chinese Berry Pickers, Thai Berry Pickers, and Slave Wages in Modern Sweden.

1 comment:

Stranger in a Strange Land said...

Here's an update on further developments in the Vietnamese and Thai workers being cheated.

Turns out that 113 tons of berries were sold to a company called Blåtand that garantees their product to be organic and bears the Organic (Krav) label. They bought 113 tons of berries to be used in the production of their gourmet preserves. For Swedish readers, here is their website:

Bearing this krav mark means that the production shall be documented that there were no crimes against human rights or other cases of social unfairness. So much for the reputation of this product label.

Start with a lie and it snowballs over time when unchecked.