• Sweden's news in English
 

Zoo staff called Polish employee 'monkey'

Published: 13 Jan 2013 13:16 GMT+01:00

The 26-year-old man, Marcin Wilk, claims that Polish and Bulgarian employees at the zoo in eastern Sweden were treated badly while he worked there in 2011.

The foreign workers had lower wages and worse work conditions than their Swedish colleagues, according to Wilk.

In December 2012, the Kalmar District Court heard tape recordings of zoo managers shouting abuse at Wilk.

"You think you're better than others. Take your things and go to hell. You're behaving like a damn monkey," they said when firing Wilk.

"Poles only have the rights granted to them by Barbro Hägg," Wilk told the Barometern newspaper, referring to the zoo's CEO.

"It's like an old-fashioned feudal system."

Wilk, who has represented himself in the legal proceedings, claimed that he and other Poles worked 10-hour days seven days a week while Swedish employees had a regular 40-hour work week.

While Swedes were paid 14,000 kronor ($2,160) per month, the Polish workers got 6,800 kronor plus room and board.

"I was discriminated against on the basis of my nationality. But everyone who works with discrimination issues knows that it is hard to prove. Discrimination is hidden," said Wilk.

At the time of his dismissal, Wilk had failed to show up to a meeting about security at the zoo, but claimed he had not been told about the meeting.

He secretly recorded a shouting match in which a man yelled at him, accused him of having a superior attitude and called him a "monkey".

Wilk was asked several times to take his belongings and leave. He was also warned that he would not receive his last wages if he refused to sign his termination notice.

Swear words and condescending language could be heard in the taped conversation, according to the paper.

Wilk is asking for 1 million kronor in damages.

The zoo has denied the allegations but the LO union confederation said it is not unusual for foreigners to have worse work conditions than Swedish citizens.

The Kalmar District Court is expected to issue a verdict on Monday.

TT/The Local/nr Follow The Local on Twitter

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

14:32 January 13, 2013 by Rishonim
While Swedes were paid 140,000 Swedish kronor per month????? That's a very good salary..... where do i send my application???? :-)
15:30 January 13, 2013 by cupidcub
That's not discrimination, its 'Swecrimination' which is, a Swede, who corrects him/herself three times while writing even a phone number, would get the job over you, doesn't matter even if you are Presidents' gold medalist of your country.

BTW, Good Job Wilks.
17:41 January 13, 2013 by burito
What a disgrace ,there is something wrong with this country(Swedistan).

And again: Marcin-Good Job!!!
18:05 January 13, 2013 by thecritic
dawn, these swedes are so wild and violent, poor poor our nice eastern european friends. I wonder, if they were low pay and abuse, why wait until they got fire then complain now? Why didn't they take it to the union or labor dept then? Or better yet give the boss the finger and move on? Oh, i forgot our eastern neighbors are nice people.
19:34 January 13, 2013 by Coaxen
The attitude of those Swedes, although horrid, is quite understandable. After all, those southerners are physically different (darker skin, eyes, hair), make the Swedes seem lazy by working harder in comparison, and probably didn't have the 20 years required to learn perfect Swedish.
20:24 January 13, 2013 by johan rebel
The man called him a monkey? He obviously doesn't speak Polish (wilk = wolf, a rather apt name for a zoo employee)
07:33 January 14, 2013 by robban70226
The real Sweden exposed again and again...
09:36 January 14, 2013 by JulieLou40
Good on him, that's what I say. Hope he gets a shedload of damages.

Before I came to Sweden, I must say I was concerned about the massive influx of Poles when they joined the EU. I rapidly changed my mind when I saw them put many of my fellow countrymen to shame, with their hard work ethic.

Incidentally, is that picture of the zoo owner from the 1970's???
11:39 January 14, 2013 by darky
This is no news in Sweden.. Not something new. Swedes have always looked low on others. I thought it was only on brown people but now I know Poles are in them list. But these Poles, u guys are noted for accepting low wages all over europe.. Don't blame anyone for that because if u make yaself a banana, monkeys will definitely eat ya to de fullest....
13:21 January 14, 2013 by Strongbow
"Zoo staff called Polish employee 'monkey'"

"-You're behaving like a damn monkey"

I don't see where they called him a monkey. If being called an animal trait is being called an animal, he's half a zoo.
18:31 January 15, 2013 by bezjaj
The Swedes have a secret saying" I Sverige ar alla lika- under svensken" ,..Which translates to " In the fabulous country of Sweden everybody is equal- under the Swede.

But Swedistan will soon be the first county in Europe changing the names of it's capitol: to Stockhobad...Then they will miss the Poles..But we will be more then happy to have them at us..we will need cleaners..
Today's headlines
Push for bullied kids to get more support
A Swedish classroom. Photo: Lena Granefeldt/Image Bank Sweden

Push for bullied kids to get more support

Sweden has a global reputation for promoting children’s rights, but the country’s ombudsman for children argues that school pupils need better protection from bullying. READ  

Swedish talk show in Åkesson complaint storm

Swedish talk show in Åkesson complaint storm

Friday night’s prime time interview with returning Sweden Democrat head Jimmie Åkesson on the Swedish TV talk show Skavlan has resulted in a storm of complaints over the weekend both on home soil and in Norway, where the programme is also broadcast. READ  

The Local investigates
'It was a long journey and some of my friends died'
Princess and Lloyd Justus from Nigeria are seeking asylum along with their baby daughter. Photo: The Local

'It was a long journey and some of my friends died'

A week after the Swedish Migration Board announced it was tripling the maximum number of residents allowed at asylum centres, The Local brings you a special report from inside Märsta, the country's busiest asylum application centre just outside Stockholm, where hundreds of refugees spend their first nights in Sweden each week. READ  

UN council seat focus of Löfven’s US trip
Photo: AFP

UN council seat focus of Löfven’s US trip

Sweden’s candidacy for a seat on the UN Security Council will dominate Stefan Löfven’s trip to New York and Washington, DC. While in the US, he will also meet Vice-President Joe Biden. READ  

New trial to start over 8-year-old’s death
Photo: TT

New trial to start over 8-year-old’s death

An appeal gets underway on Monday in the case of 8-year-old Yara Alnajjar, a girl from Gaza who was beaten to death in Sweden last year. A female guardian was charged with murder while the girl’s uncle received a lesser sentence. READ  

Pub shooters wore skull masks and police vests
Photo: TT

Pub shooters wore skull masks and police vests

The two men who opened fire at a Gothenburg pub on March 18 were wearing skull masks and police vests, surveillance cameras footage reveals. Two people were killed and eight injured in the incident. READ  

PM brings up death penalty on China trip
Photo: TT

PM brings up death penalty on China trip

Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven broached sensitive subjects such as the death penalty and human right in a Saturday meeting with China’s President Xi Jinping. READ  

Saudi ambassador to return to Stockholm
Photo: TT

Saudi ambassador to return to Stockholm

Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to Sweden will soon return to Stockholm after a diplomatic spat, Swedish officials said Saturday. But an envoy sent to Riyadh stopped short of offering the Saudis an apology. READ  

Swedish MPs meet Snowden in Moscow
Photo: TT/Right Livelihood Award Foundation

Swedish MPs meet Snowden in Moscow

Three Swedish parliamentarians met with fugitive US intelligence agent Edward Snowden at a secret location in Moscow on Friday to discuss mass surveillance. READ  

Spring budget
Petrol to cost more as Greens get their way
Social Democrat Finance Minister Magdalena Andersson and her Green Party deputy Per Bolund at a press conference on Friday. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT.

Petrol to cost more as Greens get their way

Sweden's left-wing government proposed a hike in petrol taxes on Friday, citing the drop in oil prices and pressure put on it by its coalition partner the Greens. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Society
How to never miss your favourite weekly features on The Local
Gallery
People-watching: March 25th
Sponsored Article
Why Stockholm is the 'Boston of Europe'
National
Which words are changing in Sweden's latest dictionary?
Sponsored Article
'Sweden must embrace openness and diversity'
Blog updates

27 March

Celebrating Three Great English Exports In 2015 (The Diplomatic Dispatch) »

"Deputy Head of Mission Aidan Liddle joins us for another guest blog today. In 2015, England..." READ »

 

27 March

Editor’s blog, March 27th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hi readers, Europe remains in shock following the Germanwings plane crash in the Alps that killed 150..." READ »

 
 
 
National
Is this house 'un-Swedish'?
National
Sweden pays tribute to victims of Germanwings Alps crash
National
Neo-Nazi activity rising in Sweden
National
How to make Swedish Waffles
Gallery
Property of the week: Torslanda - Hjuvik
National
Stray dog Arthur moves in with Swedish owners
Sponsored Article
Ten tips for succeeding as a start-up in Sweden
National
Sweden triples maximum limit at asylum centres
Gallery
People-watching: March 21st
National
Why elderly Swedes are among the world's happiest people
National
TIMELINE: Gothenburg shootings
National
Can Sweden's feminist party score success in neighbouring Norway?
National
Why Brits can't get enough of Sweden
Gallery
IN PICTURES: Sweden's solar eclipse
National
What's on in Sweden this week
Royal wedding countdown begins
National
Viking ring reveals Islamic ties
National
TIMELINE: Julian Assange sex allegations in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: March 18th
National
One in three Russian diplomats are spies, says Sweden's Security Service
National
Hitchcock opera set to hit Gothenburg stage
Gallery
IN PICTURES: Northern Lights on show across Sweden
Technology
Why Swedish pop star Robyn is pushing for more girls in tech
Gallery
Property of the week: Umeå
National
Introducing Sweden's Eurovision 2015 entry Måns Zelmerlöw
Gallery
People-watching: March 13th - 15th
National
Why have Swedish prosecutors made a U-turn in Julian Assange case?
Sponsored Article
How Sweden and India can work together
Politics
Who's the new young leader of the Christian Democrats?
Travel
Why are Swedes so obsessed with Mallorca?
Gallery
Princess Estelle celebrates her mother's name day in Stockholm
National
What's on in Sweden this week
National
Obama's anti-Semitism team heads to Stockholm and Malmö
Gallery
People-watching: March 11th
Technology
How a Swedish app is teaching children to empathize
Swedish grandparents put on disguises to snatch baby
National
Why Sweden may not be as gender equal as you think
Politics
Why does Russia blame Sweden for the crisis in Ukraine?
Gallery
Property of the week: Smögen
National
Listen to the English remix of a Swedish 'genitals' song gone viral
Technology
'Swedish women are strong and ambitious'
National
Why are 11 Roma people suing the Swedish state?
Sponsored Article
Expert US tax preparation for Americans in Sweden
Sponsored Article
Stockholm job fair helps immigrant entrepreneurs
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

3,437
jobs available
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:
psdmedia.se