Employment Ended – E24

Employment Ended – E24

Elkjøp’s downsizing has ended with many part-time employees, says the shop host. The supermarket chain denies it is replacing full-time employees.

MP Frank Helgesen in Elkjøp Tønsberg.
published: published:

The reduction in itself was fair enough. It’s hard times and things like that. But this is how it is done. Elkjøp is looking for a reorganization. They would rather have fewer full-time employees and more part-time employees.

Frank Helgesen, a shop agent and salesman in Elkjøp Tønsberg, told E24.

– We’ve already finished hiring. Then came the part-time job.

Many employees object to the dismissal

In January it became known that Elkjøp was going to cut back and close stores. The electronics giant has announced that personnel costs will drop by an estimated 12 percent.

MP Frank Helgesen in Elkjøp Tønsberg.

E24 recently wrote about Elkjøp offering employees a “loyalty bonus” of NOK 3,000. The employees who signed also waived the right to bring other claims against the department store, including filing a lawsuit against the company under the rules of the Work Environment Act.

Now Handel og Kontor (HK) fears that the part-time employees offered a severance package from Elkjøp will be replaced by part-time employees.

What is the background of their fear?

– These are the notes we received from union representatives and members. Many of them entered into severance agreements, whereby they waived the right to sue if it was an unfair dismissal. Then you see that Elkjøp is looking for part-time employees.

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So says Lina Marie Retan, second vice president of commerce and office.

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Lina Marie Retan, Second Vice President of Commerce and Office.

The LO union organizes employees in commercial activities and has 579 members working in Elkjøp. In total, the chain has more than 4,000 employees in Norway, according to own websites.

Reitan says Hong Kong is currently working on 14 cases involving Elkjøp and the staff appealing the dismissal.

– But if they enter into a final agreement, it is difficult for us to help us.

“the most appropriate angel”

Everyone offered a termination agreement will be offered and prioritized for vacancies at Elkjøp Norge for 12 months, HR director Jan Erik Aaserød wrote in a response to E24.

He denies that Elkjøp has any plans to replace full-time jobs with part-time ones. According to Acerud, more part-time workers (61 percent) have been cut back than full-time employees (39 percent).

The department store must constantly ensure that enough people are at work, and they, along with union representatives, have tried to ensure a good shift plan, according to the HR director.

Jan Erik Aaserød, Human Resources Manager at Elkjøp Norge.

Some stores have too many part-time employees, others have too many full-time employees. “With the process we are currently in, there will be more suitable personnel going forward,” Asrud wrote.

He points out that the department store chain must have a sustainable economy, and that by making these changes it takes responsibility for thousands of jobs and secures its position as a market leader.

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“We are in a market that has been and will be subject to significant changes,” wrote the HR director, noting that Elkjøp will have to adapt.

I am looking for part time employees in the store

A quick search on Finn.no shows that Elkjøp had 34 jobs advertised in 21 ads, as of March 6.

25 of these part-time jobs are mentioned in an Elkjøp store.

In the downsizing process, the company has a duty to turn over every stone to see if there is work for existing employees, says Reitan.

The operation was done very quickly. When we talk to store managers and employees, many say they feel they have no choice. After that, you may regret signing the termination agreement.

The curtailment was announced on January 12th. On January 31, the process was complete, says HR manager Aaserød.

– natural departure

When asked why Elkjøp advertises largely part-time jobs, the HR manager writes that Elkjøp is a large company with many employees.

He writes: “…there will thus be a certain degree of natural attrition during the year, as we must continually advertise full-time and part-time positions in order to be able to staff our stores.”

Many of the jobs advertised are in stores either owned and not owned by Elkjøp Norge, or in stores not affected by downsizing, according to Aaserød.

“There are also stores where employees affected by downsizing have turned down a lesser part of the job, but the job must then be advertised.”

It confirms that former employees have priority in vacancies. In addition, a page has been created with an overview of vacancies throughout Elkjøp Norge. A job search course is also being offered to the affected employees, the HR manager writes.

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Many inquiries

The Vice President of Hong Kong states that losing your job at a time of skyrocketing prices and high interest rates is very touching for many.

– It’s not easy to get a new job in Mahal now. We therefore encourage all members to contact us before signing anything. They should also not attend meetings alone, but rather they should bring a union representative, colleague or friend with them.

Raytan says the association also receives many inquiries from CJOB employees.

– It is often about what needs to be done, that you signed up for it and regretted it, or whether what you were offered was true.

– Only full-time employees who have scheduled an appointment

Trade union representative Frank Helgesen in Tønsberg says he understands Elkjøp needs to save money, but reacts to the fact that it appears to be done by removing full-time jobs.

– With us, only full-time employees have agreed to quit. Then several jobs were advertised, the vast majority of which were part-time, he says.

Dalila Awolowo

Dalila Awolowo

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