English-only rule ‘breaches human rights’…
Polish and Latvian employees at a UK warehouse accused their bosses of breaching their human rights by ordering them to speak only in English to colleagues.
The mainly Polish and Latvian staff at a Midlands distribution centre of Unipart must use only English during working hours, but are free to talk in their native language during breaks.
A Union spokesman said: “Unipart has a lot to learn about human nature and respect.”
A Unipart spokesman said: “It’s important for good clear communication among employees that our stringent health and safety standards are maintained and that all employees speak a common language.”
Is it really against a persons Human Rights to have to speak the language of your chosen country and employer, during working time ?
Polish Workers should speak English in the Workplace..
Sometimes you read things and you think you could not make this up. Non UK workers are guests in our country albeit that they are lawfully exercising their rights to work here under the laws of the European Union so, you can scarcely believe that Polish and Latvian packers have accused bosses of breaching their human rights by ordering them to speak only English when working in an English factory.
This is just common sense as they are managed in English and have to adhere to English Health and Safety rules.
Unipart Logistics brought in the rule to prevent non-Polish speakers among their 120 staff being “marginalised and isolated”.
This is a genuine and valid concern as we have all experienced the situation where you are in conversation with a group of people, could be Welsh or French when they suddenly start speaking in a language that you can’t understand. If you are in Wales or France , then fair enough, their country their language but here we are talking about a UK located warehouse.
If during recruitment the operator has insisted on a certain standard of English then there should be no problem, and the complaint to the reasonable man is completely spurious.
Where employers have used non English speakers to save money (yes, it happens everywhere) then it would be counterproductive to insist on English only and indeed it would exacerbate Health and Safety risks.
They may speak their own languages at break times. But the workers claim it is discrimination.
Frankly, if they don’t like the arrangement they should seek work elsewhere rather than trying to make trumped up charges of discrimination.
Author: Chris Slay
Skills Provision will allow our articles/quotes to be reproduced on other formats as long as full accreditation is given.
Is the world going mad ?
29.1 - 624,500