Monday, June 16, 2014

Modern slavery in the free market

My neighbour has just come home from Sweden. She's been working there for a month or so picking asparagus.  She came home early because she started suffering from a heart condition and basically was advised that she should no longer work.

Now the reason that she may have developed this heart condition is that she was worked like a dog.  Well harder than that.  They got up to start their day at 3am.  yes, that's right 3am.  And they worked, some days as late as 11pm (it being light late in Sweden).  They worked 7 days a week at this appalling pace, in terrible conditions - they were told they would be picking strawberries, which wouldn't have been much better, but is not as bad as picking asparagus.  Before she got the heart problem she also had an infected leg wound from working in the wet fields. For the time that she was there, just over 5 weeks, of this punishing, brutal schedule, she has brought home 600 Euros. 7 days a week 16-20 hours a day.  For 600 Euros. Away from her husband and daughter, away from her home.

And, let's not forget, this is in Sweden, one of the best places in Europe and the world for conditions for workers we always think.  God knows what she'd have gone through somewhere else.

Now we've heard a lot recently about the EU's open borders for workers, the migration of people looking for work.  But we don't hear that much about the unscrupulous bastards who use this fact to treat people like virtual slaves.  These vile, cruel, workhouse capitalist pigs. Scum of the earth, using and abusing the poor and disadvantaged to furnish their own profit margins.  Sweeping up poor, undereducated people from SE Europe, transporting them half way across the continent and them working them (literally) into the ground, until their bodies fail.  This is inhuman and absolutely disgusting.  This is where the EU's policies are failing the continent - failing to protect people from these slave-drivers, these rapacious monsters who abuse the system and those they "hire" into their appalling schemes.

And, yet, repugnant motherfuckers like Farage and Le Pen, focus their ire, their hate, their attacks on the people who are forced by circumstances to take these "jobs".  The victims are not to blame, and to make them the scapegoats is just piling misery on top of those who can least fight back.  The EU needs to change its policies - it needs to protect the vulnerable and disadvantaged.  Instead it creates the conditions for the exploitation of people in the name of free movement.

It's time to fight this shit.  The market may be free.  Those that are used by it most definitely are not.  Just another commodity to be mined for profit. 

1 comment:

Andrei Canciu said...

I agree that Farage and Le Pen are repugnant motherfuckers (and not only for suggesting that the foreign workers are leeches when in reality most are willing to work as hard as your neighbor), but this has nothing to do with the EU. That Swedish slave driver was in clear violation of both EU and Swedish labor laws and needs to be prosecuted to the full extent possible under law.