“Employees were paid less than what the companies had set as a wage guarantee. They were also charged an overcharge for training and the sale of products and services,” they stated, according to the public broadcasting company.
If the Finnish authorities did not investigate the abuses without delay, the authorities announced that they would ban the pickers from working for the two companies involved in the complaints of dozens of berry pickers.
However, it seems that the companies were allowed to continue recruiting and other operations as usual. For example, Polarica has reported that the number of collectors it will recruit from Thailand increased from 770 in 2020 to 1,150 in 2021 and 1,200 in 2022.
YLE wrote on Monday that the meeting could contain information related to the ongoing criminal investigation into the abuse of berry pickers recruited from Thailand. Jukka KristoThe CEO of Polarica, is suspected of gross human trafficking and Olli Sorainenan official of the Ministry of Economy and Labour, who is responsible for accepting bribes by the National Investigation Agency (KRP).
Both Kristo and Sorainen participated in the remote meeting.
KRP in December was revealed that it has expanded its investigation to another Finnish berry company and a female coordinator who has been recruiting pickers for both Kiantama and Polarica for years.
A total of half a dozen people are suspected of involvement in misleading, exploiting and subjecting the pickers to conditions similar to forced labor.
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Source: The Nordic Page