Wales wants talks on language ban

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at
Thu Jun 14 13:33:40 UTC 2007

Wales wants talks on language ban

Carwyn Jones, the Minister for Education, Culture and the Welsh
Language has issued travel agents Thomas Cook with an open invitation
to discuss their policy towards the Welsh language.

Employees in Bangor, Gwynedd had been told that only English could be
used in all work-related conversations.

The request led to protests and claims the travel agent had broken the
law. The firm said talks with the Commission for Racial Equality and
the Welsh Language Board could begin this week.

Carwyn Jones said: "It is totally unacceptable for Thomas Cook to bar
staff from speaking Welsh in the workplace.

"I would like to meet Thomas Cook to discuss their policy towards the
Welsh language.

"Our long term aim is to create a bilingual Wales, where people will
be able to speak Welsh or English when going about their daily
business. The Welsh Assembly Government's remit letter for 2007-8,
tasked the Board to continue to develop the use of Welsh in the
workplace including promoting linguistic awareness and sensitivity.

"The Welsh Language Board has been conducting pilot schemes with North
Wales Police and Ceredigion County Council in order to increase the
internal use of Welsh within these organisations. The Assembly
Government has also been developing its own internal use of Welsh to
increase the internal use of Welsh and also to deliver the commitments
in our Welsh Language Scheme more effectively and efficiently."

Welsh language society Cymdeithas yr Iaith plans a demonstration
outside the travel company's Bangor shop at 1pm on Friday. The Welsh
Assembly Government intends that Wales should be seen as a truly
bilingual nation.

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