– It’s rubbish to be treated this way – Dagsavisen

– It’s rubbish to be treated this way – Dagsavisen

– I am among those in Elkjøp Jessheim who have worked the longest in the chain. That’s why this came as such a shock, says Ellen Honvoll.

The kitchen consultant holds a large cup of Starbucks black coffee in both hands.

She remembers in January of this year when she learned her workplace would be downsized due to failed sales.

– You were sincere

The 42-year-old took the news with overwhelming calm.

After all, she’s worked in Elkjøp for 23 years, been a department manager and been voted the best salesperson in the store several times.

She never imagined in her wildest imagination that the wounds would befall her.

But she could be very wrong.

– I thought I was safe. I have been loyal to Elkjøp and have done well.

– Now I feel stupid. She says I didn’t understand that I was looking for her.

Since June, Hoenvoll has been on sick leave from his full-time job in Elkjøp Jessheim’s kitchen department. She suffers from anxiety and depression.

I had to borrow money from my parents

When companies are downsizing, certain rules must be followed. Among other things, employees should be invited to one-on-one discussion meetings with management.

Hoenvoll attended such a meeting on 23 January. Then and there a longtime Elkjøp employee was offered NOK 200,000 if she quit herself.

If that isn’t applicable, she can choose between a 50-percent position at the warehouse and at the Gessheim branch or a full-time job at the newly opened shop in Bumble, about a three-hour drive from home.

Quite out of the question, the 42-year-old thought. She has a large mortgage and has to work full time to make ends meet. And with a son living at home (20), commuting or moving to Bamble in Vestfold and Telemark is also not an option.

I don’t see it as a real show. Recently, I asked my mom and dad for money so that I could pay off my loan.

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I burst into tears

When I entered the door in the house after the discussion meeting with management, she broke down and started crying.

– It’s rubbish to be treated this way. It’s like they kicked me down a hole, and threw me aside like trash.

The 42-year-old falls silent, blinking several times and raising her index finger to the corner of her eye as if trying to hold back tears.

Elkjøp’s director of human resources, Jan Erik Aaserød, claims that they based the downsizing on the employees’ seniority, competence and social conditions. Read the interview with Aaserød further down in the article.

Watching Al-Kawba from the balcony

More than a week after the discussion meeting, one of the bosses called Hoenvoll on the doorbell. The 42-year-old was asked to come down to the exit door.

If not, the manager will put a letter in her mailbox. I went downstairs and accepted the letter. It was a written resignation.

– I stood there shivering and thought “You’re messing with me”. And then I was dumbfounded. I was annoyed.

– “Reason for dismissal: downsizing and reorganization,” is written in black and white on the dismissal notice in front of her on the coffee shop table.

From the balcony in Ellen Hoenvoll’s home, she looks out to the back of the Elkjøp building in Jessheim. Proximity to work was paramount when she bought the apartment two years ago.

Before moving to Gessheim, she lived in Magnor and commuted three hours a day to and from work. In the end it got really tiring. But now the proximity to work that once possessed him became a burden.

– I liked this view. I was joking with my colleagues and sending them smoke signals. Now I always have the blinds on. I’m also not looking forward to grilling season on the balcony.

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Employees have feelings

When downsizing companies with collective agreements, the seniority principle is powerful. This means that those who have worked longer can keep their jobs.

13 branches in Elkjøp have collective agreements that give employees with long driving hours stronger protection. There is no collective agreement in the department store in Gesheim.

Eight years of human life have been lost in Elkjøp Jessheim in downsizing, Elkjøp tells. About 200 employees across Elkjøp are affected by this process.

Hoenvoll knows several colleagues who worked long hours in Elkjøp and who have also lost their jobs.

– and the fairest thing is that those who are appointed last go first. Many of the workers in Elkjøp are between the ages of 18 and 19 and live in the boys’ room. They could afford to lose their jobs, but many were allowed to continue.

For 23 years, Hoenvoll has thrived in Elkjøp. She was nicknamed Mom Ellen because she took care of and baked muffins and muffins at work for her colleagues, says the kitchen consultant. But that’s enough for now. The 42-year-old doesn’t want to go back to the electronics chain.

– I don’t usually commit, but I do now. This is because I don’t want more people to experience this. I don’t want people to have a workplace like that. Now Elkjøp should clean up.

We are employees, people with feelings.

Al-Kawba responds to criticism

Elkjøp’s director of human resources, Jan Erik Aaserød, acknowledges that downsizing was taking a lot.

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“It was difficult for our employees who were affected and demanded that the company make a decision that was absolutely necessary to ensure a sustainable economy, many thousands of jobs and our position as a market leader,” Aaserød wrote in an email.

He claims that the downsizing was done in line with Elkjøp’s procedures.

– Our procedures have been strictly followed in this restructuring with a comprehensive assessment of seniority, competency and social conditions, Aaserød writes in an email to HK-Nytt.

He adds that there will be cases where one of the criteria is not calculated alone, but in combination with each other based on the different needs in the transformation plan and in line with customer traffic.

“Throughout the process, we had to make sure we had enough employees, with the right set of skills, on duty during the day, evenings, weekends and peak seasons,” he writes.

HK-Nytt has sent Elkjøp management all allegations made by Hoenvoll, but they have chosen not to comment on them beyond what you can read in this article.

Ellen Honvoll is upset that she, who has worked at Elkjøp for 23 years, has received a sacking and claims that colleagues with shorter seniority are allowed to continue with their jobs.

Jan Erik Aaserød responds to the criticism by saying that employees have been offered part-time jobs at Elkjøp Jessheim and full-time jobs at one of the other stores.

– In the process, there are stores where employees refused a lower percentage of work, as in the store in question in this case, the HR manager writes.

Three weeks after the interview, Ellen Honvoll called. She has big news: Now it’s finally over. She entered into a definitive agreement with Elkjøp and decided not to pursue the case. Then I got a job as an on-call assistant at a nearby hotel.

Dalila Awolowo

Dalila Awolowo

"Explorer. Unapologetic entrepreneur. Alcohol fanatic. Certified writer. Wannabe tv evangelist. Twitter fanatic. Student. Web scholar. Travel buff."

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