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Unveiling the Grim Reality of Sweden’s Labour Market: At Risk Lives and Ignored Woes

At Risk Lives, Ignored Woes: Unveiling the Grim Reality of Sweden’s Labour Market

The Grim Reality of Sweden’s Labour Market

As expats in Sweden, we strive to adapt to the culture, lifestyle, and even work ethics of this beautiful Scandinavian country. However, there’s a grim tale unfolding; the untold woes of the labour workers, ignored repeatedly by both politicians and mainstream media. Among these hard-working souls, we lost six lives this summer, including a 14-year-old boy and the elderlies in their 60s, news overshadowed by more “important” affairs.

Work-Related Fatalities and Accidents

A dark summer of work-related fatalities has marked Sweden’s labor market. This year has already witnessed 33 deaths, reaching nearly 50 on an annual scale after a temporary lull during the pandemic. What’s more distressing is an appalling 35,400 work-related accidents leading to sick leaves in just the previous year. For men, it was losing control over machines, while for women, falls and heavy lifting were common culprits. The numbers surpass deaths caused by terrorists, extremists, and gangsters combined.

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Why Does This Issue Receive Less Attention?

Despite affecting more Swedes, why does it receive less attention compared to the latter issues? This indifference from the national media and politicians exposes the cold-hearted neglect towards worker’s woes and well-being. Isn’t it crucial to shift the spotlight towards ensuring workplace safety?

The Manipulation and Exploitation of Low-Wage Workers 

Not like these issues go unreported entirely. Trade publications and certain left-wing newspapers do maintain a constant narrative on these problems. However, their reach remains limited and does not match the large extent of the misery. National newspapers and politicians exercise a more extensive sphere of influence and must thus shoulder the responsibility of bringing these issues into light.

Who Will Champion the Cause of These Voiceless Workers?

Perhaps the gruesome tragedy lies in the manipulation and exploitation of workers in low-wage jobs. Elinor Torp’s book “Clean to hell” exquisitely details this exploitation where even the undocumented immigrants and those with functional disabilities suffer a raw deal. Interestingly, it appears the state-owned company, Samhall, prioritizes profit over the people it was founded to employ. Many burn out under the new demanding work conditions, while Samhall continues its defense of having employees’ welfare as a priority.

It’s Time to Push for Safer Workplaces

This brings us to question: who would champion the cause of these voiceless workers?

It’s high time this issue of workplace safety gets pushed to the top of our priority list. In a fair society, no one should die at work, and workplace accidents shouldn’t be as commonplace as they currently are. Every worker deserves to work under reasonable conditions. More so in a progressive and prosperous country like Sweden, known for its humanitarian stance and people-friendly policies.

As members of the multicultural expat community in Sweden, it’s essential for us to join hands, raise our collective voice, and strive for changes in achieving safe work conditions. It’s not just about surviving the Swedish lifestyle but contributing towards its betterment as well. Amid the quintessential Smorgasbord, ABBA and stunning archipelago, let’s not forget the hardworking individuals who make it all possible, often at a risk to their valuable lives.

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