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In Norway do as Norwegians!? "Speak only our language or you loose your job!"

Tuesday, 04 September 2012
Cultural diversity is a growing point of irritation among people and employers such that without proper management and strategy, there would be not proper approach to solve them. In today's globalised economy must countries be so rigid in stamping their national identity on immigrant workers?

Norway supposed to be a tolerant country where there is all types of freedom. But why will a person be dismissed from his or her job just because they failed to speak the national language at work while conversing with other acquaintances?
This has left some people baffled as the case looks bizarre and looking a some recent events in the country the question has emerged is this a new trends?

A polish hospital cleaner was dismissed from her job just because she spoke polish language with a polish counterpart. The dismissal letter say that the cause for dismissal clearly that:
"You have been informed that only Norwegian is spoken during working hours. Colleagues and patients have complained several times of Polish being spoken  in restaurants, cleaning services and in the corridors."

Her name is Joanna Renclawowic, who has lived in Norway for four years and has now reported the incident to the court and her lawyer has sent a complaint to the Norwegian discrimination ombudsman, according to media report. The Norwegian Equality Ombudsman has previously stated that the dismissal of Joanna because of the language she used in the hospital during her work as a cleaner is illegal discrimination.

Joanna was one of five Polish colleagues who worked as cleaners at the hospital.
"One of the people I worked with was one of my best friends from Warsaw, where we come from. I've known her a long time. It was just so strange to speak Norwegian with each other when we're not so good at it," she explained to teh Nowegian daily, Dagbladet, adding that:
"We always tried to speak Norwegian with Norwegian employees. But every time my boss heard some of us speak Polish she complained, especially if we did it during lunch breaks."

According to the lawyer's Joanna was warned not to speak Polish at break time already when she got the job because the boss did not like it. During the summer, five Polish workers were called to a meeting with the manager.

"I told her: You can not fire me because I speak Polish at lunch. But she did it," says Joanna said to Dagbladet.

Joanna's lawyer, Sebastian Garstecki has taken  the termination seriously. She was fired because she stood up for their rights. That someone speaks their native language during unpaid breaks is not a valid reason for dismissal. Norwegian remains the official working language

The hospital division manager, Elin Skei told Dagbladet that they will meet with union on Wednesday to discuss the issue, but stressed that it is important to have Norwegian as a working language in the workplace,
 "At the unpaid break time, they can speak the language they want, as long as they are outside the worksite and the small dining rooms," she said.
Talking of preserving national identity of scared of being ran over by the Poles, this is bizarre.

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