10.6.07

Thomas Crook

Tynodd Carwyn Edwards fy sylw (a sawl arall ar restri Cymraeg) at hanes hon am asiantaeth teithio 'Thomas Cook' a'u polisi iaith nhw.

by Matt Withers, Wales On Sunday


TRAVEL agent giant Thomas Cook was last night warned it could face a race
probe after banning its staff from speaking Welsh at work.

The Commission for Racial Equality says the high street chain may be in
breach of race relation laws after the manageress of its store in Bangor
told workers they were no longer to speak the language to each other.

The firm has confirmed the nationwide ban and says it ensures "clear
communication" among its staff. But it now faces a possibility of an
investigation, as well as protests from pressure groups who have accused the
company of "disgraceful" behaviour.

The policy emerged last week when the manageress of the store in Gwynedd,
who does not speak Welsh, told staff they must converse in English with each
other.

Ironically, staff at the store in the strongly Welsh-speaking city had only
recently started wearing badges provided by the Welsh Language Board to show
customers they spoke both languages.

Nobody at the store itself was willing to comment yesterday.


But a statement from the company said: "Thomas Cook requests that all staff
speak English when discussing work-related matters in the work place. This
ensures clear communication at all times and is respectful to team members
who do not speak other languages.


"Thomas Cook employs staff from many cultural backgrounds, therefore the
company appreciates its staff may want to talk to colleagues in other
languages for anything that is non business-related."


But Chris Myant, Director of the CRE in Wales, warned the move might break
the law.


"I think they need to think very, very carefully about this," he said.


"It's quite possible it might be in conflict with the Race Relations Act. It
is an area where there isn't a great deal of cases that have gone to the
courts, but the courts have said in some cases it's unreasonable what the
employer is asking, because it clearly is possible for a company to function
perfectly well where the employees speak to each other in Welsh.


"And where a company functions well there is no reasonable right for an
employer to stop them speaking any other language. It sounds as if Thomas
Cook could be at risk of one of its employees taking it to an employment
tribunal."


Language campaigners have reacted with fury to the policy.


Hywel Griffiths, chair of Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg, said the company's
actions were unacceptable.


He said: "It's absolutely disgraceful. What does come out of this strongly
is that this would never have happened had a new Welsh Language Act had been
introduced.


"We would imagine, in Bangor, that a lot of their customers are
Welsh-speakers and a lot of their employees are Welshspeakers. "


Aran Jones, chief executive of Cymuned, accused the company of "idiotic
hypocrisy".


He said: "Thomas Cook are lovely people when they're talking about how their
tourism doesn't destroy the lives of Indonesian tribespeople, but not when
they're telling Welsh people they're not allowed to speak their own
language."

There would definitely be some form of protest against the company, he said.
Mae'r ffaith bod cwmniau megis Thomas Cook yn meddwl eu bod nhw yn gallu
gwaharth eu gweithwyr rhag siarad eu mamiaith yn y gweithle yng Nghymru
(iaith swyddogol y wlad) yn dangos gwendid sylfaenol yn y cyfundrefn
presenol. Os nad oes hawl i Gymry Cymraeg defnyddio eu hiaith yn eu
gweithgareddau dydd i dydd, pa mor wag yw'r holl son gan y Cynulliad am
'Gymru dwyieithog'?

Dychmygwch y sefyllfa, tasai rhai cwsmer i gerdded i mewn i Thomas Cook ym Mhangor a dechrau sgwrs Cymraeg gyda Cymro/Cymraes Cymraeg tu cefn i'r desg, a dyna'r rheolwraig yn dod drosodd er mwyn eu gorchymu i siarad Saesneg,(falle dwi'n bod yn eitha diniwed yma, hynny yw mae'n digon tebyg bod sefyllfeydd megis hon yn digwydd reit aml mewn sawl gweithle), ond dyni'n son am ardal lle mae'r mwyafrif yn defnyddio'r iaith fel modd o gyfathrebu pob dydd.

Dwi wedi cael fy ngwylltio, ac mae'n debyg fydd na e-bost ar y ffordd i Thomas Crook cyn diwedd y nos..

8 comments:

hedd said...

Danfonwch eich cwynion at / send your complaints to:

"If you have any feedback or questions about one of our retail stores or agents, please contact Customer Relations - customer.relations@thomascook.com "

Tom Parsons said...

Neil, mae'n anghredadwy mai cwmni yn gorchymyn ei weithwyr yn siarad dim ond un iaith yn y gweithle. Mae petha fel hyn yn fy 'neud i ffyrnig!

neil wyn said...

Diolch Hedd, mae fy nghwyn (dwyieithog wrth rheswm) ar y ffordd..

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