The daily newspaper wrote recently that chain director in Brilleland, Kjetil Engen, received a letter from the Norwegian People’s Party in mid-September. The letter stated that the party’s members have observed that an increasing number of employees in Brilleland stores wear hijabs and are asking the store to use ethnically Norwegian employees in the future.
The Norwegian People’s Party is a Norwegian nationalist and neoconservative political party. They present themselves as a party “which works for Norway to be a country with an ethnic Norwegian population”.
– This letter hit me right in the stomach, says the chain director in Brilleland.
He decided to write a post on social media to raise awareness of the issue.
“I see that you are proposing that we in Brilleland in the future use ethnic Norwegian women and men in our stores. More than ever before, we will work every single day to strengthen our inclusive and diverse Brilleland, where all people are warmly welcome, whether as employees or as customers. I promise to be the guarantor for this.”
Proud of the boss
Lene Elin Hjelmseth, shop steward at Brilleland at Ålesund Storsenter, was shocked when she read the contents of the letter from the Norwegian People’s Party.
– It is completely reprehensible and incredibly uninclusive, says Hjelmseth.
The club manager in Handel og Kontor is pleased that the chain director responded publicly to the letter.
– I am proud that this is my boss. His answer reflects the whole of Brilleland, she says.
Elected representative Siw Else Vikan in Brilleland Trondheim Nordre calls the letter from the Norwegian People’s Party “absolutely horrible”.
– We live in a free country. What people wear on their heads has something to do with how they do their job, says Vikan.
The shop steward is happy that Kjetil Engen responded so quickly.
– The answer was absolutely brilliant. It warmed our hearts that he was so quick. We are really proud that he is our boss, says Vikan.
Club leader Nina Ask Lauritzen in the Brilleland branch in Stathelle in Telemark is also proud of the boss’s answer.
– It is good to see Kjetil’s commitment and clear feedback to the sender, writes Lauritzen to HK-Nytt.
She was saddened when she read the letter from the leader of the Norwegian People’s Party.
– It is sad that some people have such strong opinions about this in Norway in 2022, writes the club leader.
Several shop stewards in Brilleland that HK-Nytt has spoken to support Kjetil Engen’s response to the letter from the Norwegian People’s Party.