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Work permits for Thai berry pickers are being revoked

This year, the Swedish Migration Agency received a total of 5,906 applications for work permits to pick cranberries during raspberry season in Sweden from Thai raspberry pickers. But after the Swedish Migration Agency carried out an in-depth check of employers, 450 permits have now been withdrawn.

– The main reasons for refusals are the shortcomings of the Thai recruitment companies, the Swedish carriers or a combination of these reasons, says Erik Holmgren, director of the work permit unit at the Swedish Migration Agency, in a press release.

deepen The check began after a DN reviewed working conditions for Thai mulberry pickers, according to Frederick Abemo, an interviewer with the immigration agency. The review showed, among other things, that berry pickers have double contracts. They worked in Sweden for Swedish companies, but worked through Thai staffing firms. In the contracts sent to the Swedish Migration Agency, it was stated that the berry pickers guaranteed wages, vacation pay and health insurance. Indeed, income depended instead on the number of berries picked, and those who fell ill risked sending them home at their own expense.

– I can confirm that there are 150 berry pickers associated with Bothnia Berry. But it is also the case that a total of 455 applications for work permits have been rejected so far this year. This applies to Swedish carriers Bothnia and Myrtel, says Fredrik Abemo, an interviewer with the Swedish Migration Agency.

This is the result of DN revision?

The result of the review is yes.

Tommy Gustafsson is the CEO of Bothnia Bar.

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What is your responsibility towards the companies you cooperate with?

– We made sure that the payment was made and that everyone was paid at least a guaranteed wage. Tommy Gustafson says it is up to the Thai staffing firm to decide where to tweak the shoes.

Having previously encountered Bothnia Berry data DN, the company conducted its own investigation, which confirmed the existence of double contracts for 96 berry pickers. Tommy Gustafson says, however, that they haven’t made a decision on whether they intend to partner with the staffing firm in the future.

– We haven’t made a decision, no. After all, we have been working with the director of this company since 2005. He behaved bravely, I think, and he is loved by the pickers. So we were shocked that there was another contract.

Will you be out of work now?

– No, we have another 300 Thais on their way. We should have had 440, now 300 will come instead. Then we have about 660 people on their way to Finland. We will accept that. It’s as good as it gets, says Tommy Gustafsson.

DN is looking for representatives for the Myrtill berry trade.