If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.

- George Washington

Sunday, 14 March 2010

English speakers not required

There is a huge fuss (mainly in the Daily Mail, for whom 'huge fuss' is the default setting) about the decision of a firm in East Anglia to employ only Polish speakers:

British workers have been turned away from jobs in a local factory – for not speaking Polish.

Cooked meat manufacturer Forza AW effectively barred anyone but Poles for applying for jobs on its production line in East Anglia by insisting all staff speak the language fluently.

This is manna from heaven for the 'forriners taking all our jobs' brigade. It certainly does look, from a social point of view, that a tipping-point has been reached, where it is more efficient for an employer to conduct all of his workplace business in a foreign language because he has so few native-born workers.

It's only a problem if you assume that everyone has the right to work wherever they like, regardless of the needs of employers to run profitable businesses. If it suits Forza AW to employ only Polish speakers, why shouldn't they have the right to do so?

I would go further. If they want to employ only women, or only men, or only people under the age of 30, or only people with blue eyes, why shouldn't they? It's their business, and it should be no concern of anyone else who they choose to employ. If you don't like it, set up your own business and employ your favoured group yourself.

No-one has the 'right' to a job where they please. You must have a skill-set that someone wants to exchange for a wage, and if the employers local to you want a skill-set you haven't got, then either acquire the skills, or move somewhere else.

If I lived in East Anglia and I wanted a job packing sausages, I would be learning Polish fast.

Footnote: a spokesman for the Government's Equalities Office said "Under the 1976 Race Relations Act, unless there is a genuine need for a worker to speak a particular language it is against the law to require that they should do so as a condition of employing them." The company seem to have the British mindset pretty well sussed, as they respond with a trump card: "you have to be fluent because the health and safety training is all done in Polish.’



  1. And yet someone who only speaks polish can be employed by a company,say consstruction,where the induction and health and sefety notices are all in English.

  2. Ah well, to refuse them employment would be racist, wouldn't it? Surely you know these things only work one way?


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