Reggae musician, baker and former tram driver. At the Tjärlek factory, there are 28 employees with many different experiences and stories. But they are all an important part of Auson’s story, which started in 1928.Meet Seydina, Yasmine, Monica and Daniel, who are right at the heart of the business.
The smell of tar hits you as soon as you enter the Tjärlek factory. The atmosphere is happy and the pace is fast. The employees have just had their breakfast and are ready to continue with the day’s work. For Yasmine Johnsson, today this means working at the so-called tar dissolver – the first station in the pine tar production line. She works with quick, experienced hands and explains what she is doing – all with bright eyes and a huge smile.
– My wonderful colleagues and the variation in the work tasks is what I like most about my job. No day is like any other and I learn new things every day. But the people I work with are the best part. We can have serious discussions and we can have a laugh together,” she says with a big smile.
Yasmine started working at the Tjärlek factory at Auson just over three years ago. She is actually a freelance portrait artist and trained baker, but found herself unemployed and wanting to try something new.
– It was fun and exciting – completely different to my previous jobs in a café and a warehouse. At first I labelled tins, but after only two days I ended up in the kitchen where the corrosion protection is made. I don’t mind getting dirt under my fingernails and that’s why I soon ended up working in the production process itself. Some people were surprised I was so happy here. But age and gender doesn’t matter as long as you do a good job, Yasmine explains while weighing linseed oil at the tar dissolver.
MEET SOME OF THE PEOPLE IN THE TJÄRLEK FACTORY
“I got stuck directly in the wonderful mood in the factory and all the people who always give me energy.”
“I love this job. Something’s always happening and I’m always learning. In my three years here I’ve had a go at most things and there’s always something new to try.”
“ I find being a trade union representative important, fun and challenging. The role also means I gain even more colleagues – the people from IF Metall.”
The company also employs Monica Larsson, who has become something of a mother figure. She, along with many others, has worked at the company for over ten years. The employees like to go to her in the kitchen when they need to “talk” about anything. She is also one of the people responsible for the all-important Friday coffee and lottery every week.
– I’m still here because of all the wonderful people. They are what motivates me in my job. We can laugh together and talk about everything. The fact that we make such a great team and get on so well together is the reason why so many of us have stayed so long. But that doesn’t stop us from having a good daydream about what we’d do if we won the lottery, says Monica Larsson, laughing.
The last station in the Tjärlek process is labelling. Different labels are required for Red Pine Tar, Black Pine Tar, Pine Tar Vitriol, Brown Pine Tar and Light Pine Tar Oil. Today it is Seydina Gueye who is labelling empty tins for Red Pine Tar. He works with quick, steady fingers while humming a tune from his new reggae record. Seydina, who comes from Senegal, moved to Sweden in 2008 for the sole purpose of investing in his music. He came to the Tjärlek factory three years ago thanks to his brother, Samba, who also works here.
– I love this job. Something’s always happening and I’m always learning. In my three years here I’ve had a go at most things and there’s always something new to try. The fact that I’m a happy and exuberant guy with a lot to offer is appreciated by my colleagues, says Seydina, laughing and proudly explaining that his stage name is Mandoza.
The end station in the Tjärlek factory is the tapping station. Today it is Daniel Börjesson who is in the process of filling the Red Pine Tar tins. Before he starts, he checks the tapping order and calculates the weight. It is important that the correct weight is dispensed. He joined the company 15 years ago.
– I started in the lab, where I learnt many important basics. In all my years here I have had different areas of responsibility – right now I’m getting everything set up before production itself starts. But since I have such extensive knowledge, I can help out wherever I’m needed.