Hesburger employee debacle: Wake up Finland!

by , under Enrique Tessieri

One of the big questions that the Hesburger employee debacle proves is that Finnish unions, the police, and state regulators don’t take the law seriously enough. Migrant Tales has cited numerous cases where employers exploited foreigners. 

It’s clear that if their employers exploit some migrants, it happens as well to white Finns.

A group of former and present Hesburger employees of the fast-food chain made public the chronic understaffing problems and exploitation at work. Some said they worked long hours without breaks and did not even have time to go to the bathroom.

One may ask how this is possible in a Nordic welfare country like ours that promotes social equality and fairness?

Read the full story here.

If I were critical, even realistic, I would go as far as to state that laws that are aimed at protecting workers are selective. If you are a migrant, young, and without a profession, there is a good chance your rights aren’t respected.

These apply to labor laws, and Finland’s Constitution is supposed to guarantee that everyone is equal before the law. Too often we forget a key component of social equality – equity.

As the Hesburger case reveals, why were the employees who brought these illegal practices to light? Where is the Regional Administrative Agency (AVI)? The unions?

The Hesburger case does not only reveal the illegal working conditions of a fast-food chain but a much broader problem of complacency.