• Sweden edition
 
Pickers 'dumped' in forest after poor harvest

Pickers 'dumped' in forest after poor harvest

Published: 24 Jul 2012 14:37 GMT+02:00
Updated: 24 Jul 2012 14:37 GMT+02:00

“This morning we have picked up ten people who were walking south on the E4 motorway near Hagsta. They want to go home but they need help,” said Mikael Hedström of the local police to news agency TT.

According to police, some hundred berry pickers turned up in the village of Svabensverk between the counties of Hälsingland and Dalarna in northern Sweden, telling the villagers and later the police that they were dumped in the woods by a truck and now have nowhere to go.

Volunteers from the village are now helping to feed the berry pickers and many of them spent the night in the Svabensverk church hall.

“There are no berries here and they are hungry and tired, We have scrounged some food from nearby shops and I am about to cook them some lunch,” said Eva Gesslin, one of the village volunteers to TT.

The berry pickers were staying in a camp some ten kilometres from the village where an additional 300 people are said to reside.

“It is sad that the organization dumped them this way. There’s not much we can do but we will go out there later this afternoon to inform them what duties and rights they have,” said Yoomi Renström of the Ovanåker municipality to TT.

A meeting took place on Tuesday between the Bulgarian ambassador, the police, and the municipalities involved to discuss how to address the problems with the berry picker camps, belived to be caused partly by human trafficking.

"A 43-year-old man was remanded in custody yesterday (Monday) suspected of human trafficking," Lisa Sannervik, a spokeswoman for police in the central

Swedish region of Uppsala, told news agency AFP.

Sannervik said the suspected human trafficker had "contacted Bulgarian berry pickers in their home country and promised to give them housing and food and salaries for picking berries in Sweden" - a tempting proposition after last year's excellent berry harvest.

He had driven a bus-load of Bulgarian migrants up to central Sweden, but when they got there they were only handed tents and basically left to fend for themselves in what is shaping up to be a disastrous berry season, she said.

"The problem is that there have not been any berries at all," said Sannervik to AFP.

Sannervik confirmed that the Bulgarian ambassador had travelled up to Söderhamn on the east coast to meet with local authorities and to attempt to solve the problem.

"The municipality, the police and the embassy must work together to find a decent solution to improve the situation for these people," she said.

Lars Stål, of the municipality of Söderhamn, said that the meeting went well although they are yet far from reaching a solution.

"The embassy says that it is not their job to help these Bulgarians to get home, but neither is it the municipality's duty - so the pickers are falling between chairs. What we have come to realize is that there is no miracle cure that is going to solve all the problems," he told TT.

Stål told TT that all parties had gained a better understanding for the problems in general, which was a positive outcome.

"But really this is a conversation that needs to be held between the governments of the two countries and not in a meeting with Söderhamn municipality," said Stål, adding that the issue needs to be discussed on an international level.

At present no one knows how many European berry pickers there are in the Swedish woods.

After the last week's disastrous events, the Swedish government is planning a proposal to be presented this autumn with regards to foreign recruitment agencies in order to be able to better control the situation.

Hillevi Engström, the labour market minister, told TT that the situation the berry pickers are finding themselves in is “regrettable”.

”I think that the new rules will mean better transparency in the labour market and better possibilities for both authorities and unions to make sure that workers’ needs are met,” she said in an email to TT.

If the proposal is accepted it is hoped that the new rules will come into effect in 2013.

TT/AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

16:29 July 24, 2012 by muscle
I didnt get one thing. If you double click a word in the news posted by TL, it opens. tyda.se to give the meaning in Swedish. hmmm why would a person, who is reading news in English, would want to read it in Swedish ? If he or she wants then swedish news services can be used :S
Today's headlines
Sweden's highest peak to lose title next year
The view of Kebnekaise's southern peak, soon to be the second highest peak in the country. Photo: Stockholm University

Sweden's highest peak to lose title next year

Mount Kebnekaise's southern peak will no longer be the highest point in Sweden by 2015, researchers predicted on Thursday, adding that the change will spell a major blow for tourism in the region. READ  

Gothenburg preschools end school photography
Moments like these are a thing of the past for Gothenburg preschoolers. Photo: Jonas Ekströmer/TT

Gothenburg preschools end school photography

Preschool managers in Gothenburg have decided to ban class photos at preschools in their municipality, citing the different economical situations of families as one reason for the change. READ  

Presented by Stockholm Business Region
Introducing… Insurance in Stockholm
This is Stockholm. Don’t worry - be happy. File photo: ASIFE/iStockphoto

Introducing… Insurance in Stockholm

Many consider Sweden a pretty safe place to live, but what if an icicle pierces your little toe or a ray of midnight sun sets fire to your kettle? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered when it comes to sorting out insurance in Sweden. READ  

Brit's life in Sweden becomes BBC radio show
The cast of The Cold Swedish Winter.

Brit's life in Sweden becomes BBC radio show

The Local chats to UK funnyman Danny Robins about his new radio show The Cold Swedish Winter, which is making waves on BBC radio. He talks elk, moose, and what it means to be a Swedophile. READ  

Allergic Swedes demand separate metro carriages
Peanut photo Shutterstock

Allergic Swedes demand separate metro carriages

A Swedish allergies association has asked Stockholm public transport officials to set aside certain carriages on the metro for those with allergies - banning nuts, animals, and strong fragrances in transit. READ  

Most Swiss want Sweden to be next door
Flag photo: Shutterstock

Most Swiss want Sweden to be next door

Who said there were hard feelings between the oft-confused Swiss and Swedes? A new survey shows that Swiss people would rather have the land of Abba as their neighbour over anyone else in the EU. READ  

What's On in Sweden
Photo: TT

What's On in Sweden

Plenty of events around Sweden to get your teeth into this weekend, with Sunday capped off with a free visual-music concert in central Stockholm. READ  

Elections 2014
Red-greens stay way ahead of Alliance in polls
The Allliance party leaders. Photo: Mats Andersson/TT

Red-greens stay way ahead of Alliance in polls

While the gap between the red-greens and the Alliance is decreasing, the opposition is still far ahead, scoring 48.8 percent of support in a fresh poll. The Alliance came in at 37.7 percent. READ  

Malmö end 14-year Champions League wait
Striker Magnus Eriksson sprints onto the pitch at the end of Malmö's 3-0 win over Salzburg in a Champions League qualifier. Photo: Björn Lindgren/TT

Malmö end 14-year Champions League wait

Malmö overpowered Salzburg on Wednesday night to become the first Swedish team to reach the Champions League since 2000. READ  

Swedish royals boycott Chuck Berry's ceremony
Queen Silvia. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Swedish royals boycott Chuck Berry's ceremony

Members of Sweden's royal family have revealed that they boycotted the Polar Music Prize ceremony on Tuesday, due to Chuck Berry's past conviction for human trafficking. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Gallery
People-watching August 27
Gallery
Top ten false friends in Swedish
National
Roma advocate scoops Wallenberg prize
Society
Meet the man who made a Swedish store recall its high heels for kids
Business & Money
'How I came to run my own business in Sweden'
Blog updates

25 August

Hit och dit, här och där (The Swedish Teacher) »

" Hej igen! A common challenge for Swedish language students are the location adverbs hit/här, dit/där, hem/hemma etc. Some of the location adverbs come in two versions. We should use one type of location adverb when we use a verb describes where we are, and we should use the other type of location adverb when we the verb..." READ »

 

25 August

The Dollar Store (Blogweiser) »

"A dollar store in Sweden. Blog post: http://t.co/tNuuvcP1q0 #USD #greenbacks #sweden #sverige pic.twitter.com/RHFAYf7U1k — Joel Sherwood (@joeldsherwood) August 23, 2014 There’s a chain here in Sweden called The DollarStore. This name always stood out to me in a country where they don’t use dollars. I went there for the first time this weekend. They actually accepted greenbacks..." READ »

 
 
 
Politics
Expert explains why Sweden's election oozes uncertainty
National
City plays Schindler's List theme at Nazi rally
Society
For Stockholm Fashion Week, here's the A-Z of Swedish fashion
National
'Amnesiac' man avoids deportation for ten years
Gallery
Princess Estelle through the years
Business & Money
Swedish city all set for six-hour workday trial
Business & Money
Five golden rules for the Swedish job hunt
Sponsored Article
Graduates: Insure your income in Sweden with AEA
Gallery
People-watching August 22-24
National
Armed royal guards caught (very) drunk on the job
National
Sweden orders textbook on Roma discrimination
Gallery
Violent anti-Nazi demonstrations in Malmö
Society
A closer look at Sweden's five official minority languages
Gallery
See the destruction from the southern Sweden floods
Politics
'Sweden Democrats hold the key to elections'
Society
Swedes celebrate first day of smelly fish season
Politics
Sweden elections: How do they work?
Finest.se
Gallery
People-watching August 20th
Society
Did you know the Bronx in NYC was named after a Swede?
Sponsored Article
Find out what gives this Swedish school executive appeal
Sponsored Article
Introducing...Your finances in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Introducing...Housing in Stockholm
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

744
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se