English-only rule ‘breaches human rights’

FOREIGN 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 workers employed by the logistics firm Unipart, in Burton upon Trent, central England, were banned from using their native tongue during working hours, the Burton Mail reported yesterday.

The measures were implemented so that British workers at the distribution center would not feel “isolated or marginalized from other employee groups.”

However, the language ban was slammed as discriminatory by the workers and their union, Unite.

Rick Coyle, a Unite spokesman, said, “It is ridiculous to employ lots of people from other countries whilst insisting they must speak among themselves only in English. 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.”

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