Foreign workers are not robots
It was the dream of a better life that made Valkíria Lucía from Brazil apply for a job in the Faroes.
Everything started out well as the process of obtaining a residence and work permit in the Faroes was quick and trouble-free.
Filled with hope, Lucía arrived in the Faroes in July 2022. However, her situation has now taken a sharp turn for the worse.
“I left everything in Brazil. I had a job in the public sector and enjoyed a stable life. I sacrificed everything to come here,” she explains.
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“I knew that moving to another country would present some challenges, but I had never imagined that I could end up in the situation I’m finding myself in now.”
Since her residence and work permits in the Faroes are valid for one year, she believed she would have a job for one year. But this was not how things turned out.
“I arrived in the Faroes with a work contract, but then I was suddenly dismissed from my job. Many people lost their jobs at the same time,” she explains.
“The others were given other jobs in the same company, but I was not. I have no idea where to go from here. I have not been given any information.”
The dismissal came as a shock to Valkíria. She had a notice period of one week.
She says she felt hurt when no-one came and said goodbye on her last day at work, which was last Friday.
“I went into the management office on my last day, but there was no-one there. I called the management, but nobody answered. Then I just went home, and I have had no contact with the management since then.”
Valkíria would like to remind Faroese employers that workers who come from abroad are not work robots; they are real humans with real feelings.
“This is a serious issue. People make great sacrifices to come to work in the Faroes. The respect you get when you come here in no way matches the sacrifices you have to make,” she says.
“The emotions and the experiences that migrant workers have mean nothing to the employer. That, to me, is the worst part because we pay a high price to come here. Please remember, we are human beings and we deserve to be treated with respect.”
Such a realisation by Faroese employers, she adds, would help prevent others who come to the Faroes to work from ending up in a situation like hers.
“We come here with a dream. But when your work situation can change so abruptly, this dream can instantly turn into a nightmare.”
Read the Faroese version of this article here.
Translated by prosa.fo.
More Faroese News in English.