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Picture: Pedro Ribeiro Simões

Kyösti Suokas, the vice-chair of the Finnish Construction Trade Union, is criticizing the idea of bringing in tens of thousands of cheap labor workers from abroad. “The new CEO of Barona (recruitment agency), for example, is demanding tens of thousands of foreign workers to Finland. Their work permits should be granted in about a week,” Suokas writes in his blog. “Moreover, the government should also pay for the language education for the foreign workers and their families.”

According to Suokas, Barona doesn’t stand alone with their claims. The same thing has been said by others, including members of the parliament. “For what I heard the obstacle for growth is the shortage of labor force and one can’t get people to work even with paying a salary. Are we all living in the same reality? Or have started living in parallel realities as in American science fiction movies?”

According to Suokas, there are thousands of Finns with a foreign background living in Finland who despite their heavy desire cannot get work. “The difficulties lay in inadequate language skills and education and in the prejudices of the employers.” “How would the tens of thousands of foreigners live in Finland with an average or below an average salary? Who will provide for them and their families when the economy is bad and the recruiment company fires them?”

Suokas asks out loud: “Is the idea to create a fast lane passing those staying in the country and leave those foreigners already living in Finland permanently unemployed?”

“The art of immigration policy is a difficult art form,” Suokas says. “Sink or swim, politicians are the decision makers. Not by any means the companies that rent labor.”