‘Lazy’ Romanian berry pickers in wage protest

A group of Romanian berry pickers staged a protest on Wednesday, arguing that have been brought to Sweden on false premises and after their employer in Värmland in western Sweden rejected their claims and accused them of being "lazy".

'Lazy' Romanian berry pickers in wage protest

The dispute centres around pay and conditions with the group of around 100 Romanians claiming that they were promised €60 ($86) if they picked 50 kilogrammes of berries per day, according to a report in the local news site.

They argue that the conditions presented to them after having paid €300 to come to Sweden were changed to €50 for a daily haul of 70 kilogrammes and after a weekend averaging only 20 kilogrammes per day, the pickers decided to congregate in Munkfors to express their dismay.

“There are no blueberries so why have they called for us to come,” the group’s spokesperson told

This claim is however rejected by Mika Riikonen, the owner of Naturbemanning och Brygg AB, who claims that the Romanian berry pickers are the only group that has struggled to find berries.

Riikonen argued that the group of Thai berry pickers average 215 kilos per day and claimed that the Romanians were given the wrong information in their home country.

“And they are lazy bums quite frankly,” he told the newspaper.

The group’s protest in Munkfors attracted the interest of the local police and the berry pickers appealed to the officers for help in their plight, but were told that as nothing criminal had occurred there was no case to answer.

Naturbemanning och Brygg AB plans to contact the Romanian embassy on Thursday as well as the Kommunal union and on Friday it is hoped that the protesters will get their wish to return home.

“Then we will get new ones from the same agency. But this time I have asked them to check their criminal records first,” Mika Riikonen said.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.


Former Paris deputy mayor ‘charged with rape’, say sources

A former deputy mayor of Paris accused of sexual harassment by a co-worker was charged on Friday with rape and other sexual assaults, several sources said.

Former Paris deputy mayor 'charged with rape', say sources
Pierre Aidenbaum stands behind Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo at a silent march in honour of a murdered Jewish woman. Photo: Francois Guillot/AFP
Pierre Aidenbaum, 78, stepped down as deputy mayor last month just weeks after another deputy mayor quit due to protests over his links to a known paedophile.
He was questioned by a judge on Friday and charged, a source close to the case who refused to be named told AFP.
A judicial source, who also wished to remain anonymous, added Aidenbaum had been banned from contacting any victim or witness, and cannot show up at city hall.
His lawyer Maud Touitou told AFP Aidenbaum had been “hit hard” by the accusations against him “and the suffering expressed”.
Aidenbaum's resignation last month came after another deputy to Mayor Anne Hidalgo, Christophe Girard, quit in July.
Opposition politicians and women's groups had demanded his suspension over ties to Gabriel Matzneff, a writer who has never hidden his preference for sex with adolescent girls and boys.
Girard has since himself been accused of sexually abusing a minor in a New York Times report he has vehemently denied.
Aidenbaum remains on the city council despite his resignation as deputy mayor, but on Friday Hidalgo asked him to give up his seat “immediately”.