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Fury over strawberry vendor's baseball bat

19 Jul 2012, 09:49

Published: 19 Jul 2012 09:49 GMT+02:00

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The unorthodox security precaution was discovered by representatives from the Swedish Trade Union Confederation (Landsorganisationen – LO) as part of an effort to check on conditions faced by temporary summer workers around the country.

"Two of our inspectors met a girl who sold strawberries near a bus stop in Gothenburg. She hadn't received any proof of employment and her employer had given her a baseball bat which she had on display," Anna Palmér, a representative for the trade union group, told the Göteborgs-Posten (GP) newspaper.

Palmér added that that female vendor lacked access to toilet facilities and was unable to take breaks during her long workday.

She also criticized the fact that the vendor was forced to handle large amounts of cash and that the employer nevertheless neglected to collect any of the money during the day.

"If you're robbed, you're supposed to just hand over the cash box without putting up any resistance. That's how it works throughout the retail industry and in other stores, but in this case the vendor was given a baseball bat instead," she told GP.

"It's frightening."

The matter has since been reported to the Swedish Work Environment Authority (Arbetsmiljöverket) as well as the Commercial Employees' Union (Handelsanställdas förbund), according to Sveriges Radio (SR)

According to Palmér, street-side fruit vendors aren't the only summer workers forced to put up with substandard working conditions, explaining that the union group has been flooded with calls from summer workers in need of advice.

Story continues below…

"I've met young people who started working and don't even know what they earn. I think it's appalling that adults use young people like that," she told GP.

TT/The Local/dl

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Your comments about this article

10:20 July 19, 2012 by Abe L
I would have given here a 9 millimeter instead of a baseball bat. It's flat out absurd that you are not allowed to legally defend yourself against robbery. It is NOT OK to just hand over the cash and cutting your losses. The whole reason these problems still exist is because criminals just get away with it. In the rare case they do get caught they get some hilarious sentence if any at all.
10:35 July 19, 2012 by Alohart
Fortunately, Abe L doesn't have the power to turn Sweden into a dangerous armed society like that in the U.S.
10:42 July 19, 2012 by Ian C. Purdie - Sydney
@10:35 July 19, 2012 by Alohart

Amen to that.
10:45 July 19, 2012 by Paul_225
Give the vendor a 9mm, and the thief will have a shotgun. No real point in arming anyone here, just need stiff sentences, and above all, NAMING AND SHAMING PUBLICLY. eg: I AM A STRAWBERRY THIEF.
11:59 July 19, 2012 by Shibumi
@Abe L

...and that is why the USA is the safest place on earth. Are you 7 years old? Because an 8-year old could poke through your reasoning (or rather lack thereof).
12:01 July 19, 2012 by cogito
by Alohart "Fortunately, Abe L doesn't have the power to turn Sweden into a dangerous armed society like that in the U.S"

It all depends on demographics. Most places in the U.S. are safer than Sweden. Then there's Chicago, where:

27 stabbing homicides have been logged so far in July. 55 homicides (guns and stabbings) were recorded in July 2011. A six-year-od girl was killed in cross-shooting in May.

Chicago is the Obamas home town.

The mayor of chicago is Rahm Emanuel, Obama's former chief of staff.
12:09 July 19, 2012 by ooh456
Abe L is not a real person. He's a troll. He doesn't believe in arming strawberry vendors any more than you and I do. He's just trying to get a reaction. You gave it to him. Next time just do the smart thing and ignore trolls. Then they stop.
13:45 July 19, 2012 by J Jack
Many of the strawberry sellers double up as prostitutes using the stalls as a point of sale .. ask any lonely trucker.
13:46 July 19, 2012 by Abe L
#4 - In that scenario you can charge them with armed robbery which SHOULD have a far greater sentence on it.

The idea is that the robber goes to jail indefinitely and does not walk, like in Sweden. When the victim is armed and the jail time is a lot greater it puts the bar a lot higher.
14:02 July 19, 2012 by Svensksmith
As Alohart knows, as he's an American, there are many safe as well as dangerous places in the US. Sweden has a few dangerous places of it's own. It's a very complicated issue and you cannot blame guns alone.

I grew up out in midwestern US farm country and have been around guns my entire life. Never once have I been exposed to armed violence. But I can drive 20 minutes and put myself into a very dangerous environment if I wished to.
14:27 July 19, 2012 by RobinHood
@ J Jack

You are totally wrong. I just asked our local streetside strawberry seller, Big Bertha, for a quote on a good hard shag, and she beat me up with her baseball bat.

I hold you responsible for this.
17:31 July 19, 2012 by Grokh
baseball bat = okay.

working long hours with no bathroom and no papers as well as tons of cash crying out to be stolen = bad.

and in the end of the day they are selling fake swedish strawberries that come from spain.

so i guess the baseball bat is actually the positive thing they done.
20:58 July 19, 2012 by bow290
@ Jack and Robinhood,

laughing my arse off! had to spell it out :D
17:28 July 25, 2012 by ironman294
Armed robbery in the US is quite low compared to other western countries where guns are banned.

If everyone can get a gun then many robbers will be more wary of robbing people. And I have never heard of where people carrying a gun while having a store, some random gunman will be carrying a shotgun. If they can afford a shotgun they probably dont need to rob anyone. Good shotguns cost upwards of 300 dollars and are rather large to be carrying around without law enforcement noticing.
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