Wanngård was presented as Jämtin’s replacement on Monday and in an article with daily Dagens Nyheter (DN) on Tuesday she made the statement that has since had a whole profession up in arms in Sweden.
“Young people should not be forced into ‘crap professions’ like being a salesperson working on commission,” Wanngård told DN.
The reactions were quick to follow.
“I was horrified, especially when this comes from the Social Democrats who are supposed to be a workers’ party. In society there is need for all types of work, and who am I to decide what is a ‘crap job’ and what isn’t,” Ewa Samuelsson of the Christian Democrats in the city council told daily Expressen.
“All jobs have to be carried out, and all of us started somewhere”, she continued.
“I don’t know if Karin Wanngård has ever worked in telephone sales. I don’t know if she thinks there are more ‘crap jobs’ on the Swedish labour market or who should do them. But what is clear is that not everyone can be the head of multinational giant Hewlett Packard, as she was,” the political writer Peter Wolodarski wrote in DN.
According to news agency TT, in the wake of reactions Wanngård felt that her statement has been taken out of its context and blown out of proportion.
But she still wanted to apologise for offending people.
“Let me be very clear. There are in reality no ‘crap jobs’. There are no unimportant tasks, no crap tasks. However, there are jobs with crap conditions,” she said on news site Newsmill in reply to the debate that has arisen around her statement.
Sales people have a very important role to play in any company and deserve respect for the function they perform, she added in the article.
“Let me finally once and for all apologize to all the sales people for what they interpreted as a derogatory comment about their profession,” she wrote.