Only Dutch at the workplace
19 April 2007
BRUSSELS – A company in Genk has decided that all workers of foreign background must speak Dutch, even amongst themselves, in the workplace.
Supply company HP Pelzer, affiliated with Ford Genk, has set this requirement. Three violations could lead to dismissal. The Turkish workers at the company say it is an attack on their Turkish language.
The business maintains the regulation that all 125 workers must use Dutch within the enclosures of the business in order to ensure safety and show respect for fellow colleagues. About 70 percent of the company’s personnel is of foreign background – all from a variety of nationalities however.
Opposition to the measure has been gathering among Turkish workers over the past few months. They have complained to the ABVV diversity consultant, Socialist SP.A politician Selahattin Kocak and trade union secretary Rogier Dessers.
Kocak defends the regulation that Dutch should be used in the workplace, but does not think it should be connected in any way to a dismissal mechanism. Kocak acknowledges that the Turks are starting to feel as if they should be able to speak Turkish at the workplace.
[Copyright Expatica News 2007]
Subject: Belgian news