The Socialist

The Socialist 20 May 2009

We need workers' MPs on a worker's wage

We need workers' MPs on a worker's wage


Swindling MPs are detached from reality


Reinstate Rob Williams!

Thousands march for jobs in Birmingham

Visteon workers' victory march


Why socialists oppose the EU

No2EU - yes to democracy


Sri Lanka: The guns fall silent but the tragedy continues

End Gaza blockade


Tiananmen 1989: Seven weeks that shook the world


Youth Fight for Jobs fortnight of action

Enthusiastic reception for Youth Fight for jobs


Don't close our schools!

Charlotte Turner

Kings College, London

Lewisham Bridge rooftop protest


BT say they're sorry

Welsh-speaking worker bullied by boss

PCS conference gathers

Construction workers walk out

Union organisation necessary to defend working conditions

Workplace news

Fast news

 
 

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Welsh-speaking worker bullied by boss

The front page of the North Wales Daily Post on May Day splashed a story of a worker at the Holyhead Morrisons store who had felt compelled to quit his job after being told not to speak Welsh. The last straw was when he asked another worker in Welsh to move some items into the store warehouse, when the store manager (who doesn't speak Welsh) was passing by.

The manager asked him not to speak in Welsh as he thought the workers might be talking about him. On the face of it, this amounts to bullying a worker into speaking a particular language.

The 2001 census showed that over 20% of the population of Wales spoke Welsh, but this increases dramatically in North West Wales, with 69% and 60% speaking Welsh in Gwynedd and Anglesey respectively. This means that Welsh is the first language of a sizeable proportion of workers in the area.

Being forced not to speak Welsh has echoes of the period of the emergence of capitalism in Wales which saw English bosses ban workers from speaking the language in order to maintain their dominance. Children who only spoke Welsh were forced to speak and study in English at school.

In the present case, the worker's trade union, Usdaw, did not initially take this issue up, although they are now investigating it. That was left to Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg (The Welsh Language Society) who have organised a picket outside the store to demand the right to work through the medium of Welsh.

They have raised the need for the Welsh Assembly to have legislative powers over the Welsh language which should include the right to work through the medium of Welsh. Workers should have the right to communicate with people in any language that the person they are talking to is comfortable talking in. They shouldn't be bullied into speaking in any particular language just because a manager wishes to pry on their conversation!

A Bangor Socialist Party member

In this issue

We need workers' MPs on a worker's wage


Socialist Party editorial

Swindling MPs are detached from reality


Socialist Party workplace news

Reinstate Rob Williams!

Thousands march for jobs in Birmingham

Visteon workers' victory march


No2EU

Why socialists oppose the EU

No2EU - yes to democracy


International socialist news and analysis

Sri Lanka: The guns fall silent but the tragedy continues

End Gaza blockade


Socialist Party feature

Tiananmen 1989: Seven weeks that shook the world


Youth fight for jobs

Youth Fight for Jobs fortnight of action

Enthusiastic reception for Youth Fight for jobs


Education

Don't close our schools!

Charlotte Turner

Kings College, London

Lewisham Bridge rooftop protest


Socialist Party news and analysis

BT say they're sorry

Welsh-speaking worker bullied by boss

PCS conference gathers

Construction workers walk out

Union organisation necessary to defend working conditions

Workplace news

Fast news


 

Home   |   The Socialist 20 May 2009   |   Join the Socialist Party

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