They came in the hundreds of thousands with Sverigebåtarna from efterkrigets poor-Finland during the 1950-, 60 - and 70's. Many of them had just finished school, they were barely more than children. Someone had just 50 cents in his pocket. Within a couple of days after arrival, had almost all been put in the hard work, left tyo. ”Left tyo” is also the name of the SVT's low-key documentary series about the Finnish labour migration.
In the series, is interviewed about fifteen people about their experiences and memories. They describe how they always got the heaviest jobs, the worst jobs, that no swedes wanted. The salary was so poor that many had to take a second job in the evenings also. A lot of them still can't speak Swedish. They were not supposed to be here for so long, and when they would by the way have had time to go to language course? They worked all the time.
They turned out to be not so dangerous after all, and soon came the newer immigrant groups, from war and poverty, and took their place at the bottom of the samhällsstegen.
another world, far away, but it is Swedish modern history, written during some of the most brilliant välfärdsåren. And isolation seems for many of these migrant workers have become lifelong. A woman describes how she went to work on that last day before retirement, after a working life, and in the afternoon, thanked him, she with coffee and tea. Since then the phone has been silent.
But one thing has changed: the Finns in Sweden is no longer as badly regarded as when it went. Then when they were finn bastards. They turned out to be not so dangerous after all, and soon came the newer immigrant groups, from war and poverty, and took their place at the bottom of the samhällsstegen. Right now it is muslims from different countries who are there. If this is any consolation, it is certainly a black comfort. But it is nice to ”Left tyo” gives the earlier so disparaging, it's just been talked about, an opportunity to speak – and to speak to the point. The testimony becomes a kind of redress.