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calendar   Wednesday - April 20, 2011

more news from la belle france

Might really be a good idea to speak the language if you’re in a position of authority in this sort of case.

I don’t think this could happen in any other country but France. Do you?

Take a look.


Entire workforce at French factory go on strike… because the boss only speaks English

By PETER ALLEN

French workers have staged an uprising with cries of ‘Anglo-Saxon imperialism’ - because their British boss can’t speak the native tongue.

The 184 staff at Thermal Ceramics, an English company based in France, are holding walk-outs every day because discussions over their wages were getting lost in translation.

Thierry Juvin, who represents the workers in Saint-Marcellin-en-Forez, in the Loire Valley, said: ‘We say “hello” in French but then communication stops. Every meeting is an ordeal.’

He said workers at the factory, which makes ceramic fibre insulation, wanted to discuss increasing their salaries and improving working conditions, but it was proving impossible.

Mr Juvin said: ‘We have to have someone who translates everything into English, and then anything our English boss says has to be translated into French.

‘This makes dialogue extremely slow, if not impossible.’

Mr Juvin said protests have been held most days since bosses who could only speak English began managing them earlier this year.

‘Our former director left in January and his replacement is an acting director abroad,’ said Mr Juvin. ‘He is English and does not speak any French. So we cannot communicate with him.’

The representative said staff, most of whom belong to one of France’s largest trade union’s CGT, had previously not gone on strike for more than two decades.

Mr Juvin said: ‘’We haven’t withdrawn our labour for twenty three years. Maybe this is because we could speak to our bosses.’

Pierrick Dumont, the trade union representative for the factory, said: ‘I don’t think it’s up to us to make the effort to speak English. We’re French workers based in France.’

Diane Gaillot, chief executive of Thermal Ceramics in France, said: ‘The problem is that the former director had a unique opportunity to go abroad and we have not had time to recruit a new director.

‘But the situation is temporary and we are currently recruiting phase. And certainly the next director will speak French.’

Miss Gaillot said the company had four sites across France, but the one in Saint-Marcellin-en-Forez, which is not far from Lyon, was the only one suffering industrial action.

She added that a meeting about the problems was due to be held in Paris this week.

France has a notoriously nationalistic workforce, with staff frequently complaining about the growing Anglicisation of working practices within the global economy.

This encompasses everything from English being used as the exclusive language of business to reduced lunch breaks.

Thermal Ceramics is a division of the British Morgan Crucible Company, which was founded in London in 1856 and has since expanded all over the world.

source


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Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 04/20/2011 at 08:11 AM   
Filed Under: • FRANCEwork and the workplace •  
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