27 June 2013

CTV: IGA employees can't speak English to each other?

Exclusive: IGA franchise employees told they cant speak English to each other | CTV Montreal News

Meaghan Moran, 17, got a job working at an IGA on Sir-Wilfrid-Laurier Blvd. in Saint-Lambert. She was told that she didn't have the right to speak English at the store ...
One of the guys I was working with is English and I knew him and he said, ‘No, talk to me in French because we're not allowed speaking English on the floor,” she said, adding that she quickly heard what her friend and ex-employee Alex Caldwell knew: employees don't feel comfortable speaking English anywhere in the store.
“I was warned by a friend in the lunchroom to watch what I say and keep my English down, because the management didn't like it and she got a warning,” said Caldwell.
Store owner Louise Menard, who also owns other IGAs, refused an on-camera interview, but explained her reasoning in a phone interview. She said she thinks that when employees speak their own languages amongst themselves, whether it's English, Russian or Spanish, even on their own time in the staffroom, it creates tension and misunderstandings in the workplace.
Menard did emphasize that speaking only French in her establishments is not required, rather it's requested.
Constitutional lawyer and human rights expert Julius Grey said he thinks it's a clear violation of freedom of expression and equality ...

 Office québécois de la langue française spokesperson Martin Bergeron said there is no provision in the French language charter that prevents employees from speaking English to each other during the course of a workday ...

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