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Call for intervention after worker ‘banned’ from speaking Welsh with customers at KFC

17 Jul 2019 2 minute read
A KFC on Bangor High Street

The Welsh language society has called on the Language Commissioner to intervene after a man was banned from speaking Welsh to customers at a KFC.

Cymdeithas yr Iaith said that they had seen an increase in cases where employers had banned employees from speaking Welsh in the past few months.

The Welsh Language Commissioner, Aled Roberts, should do much more to raise awareness among businesses of the law and to tackle prejudice, they said.

Cymdeithas yr Iaith spoke out after a KFC worker in Bangor left her job after being “unfairly” asked not to speak Welsh with Welsh-speaking customers.

Ceri Hughes, a first-year History student at Bangor University, told Golwg360 she was working the night shift in the high street restaurant on 28 June when she received the order from her supervisor.

“For some reason, this supervisor came to me saying that I had to speak English with customers,” she said.

“I explained to her that I can’t do that if they speak Welsh, and I would continue to speak Welsh with the customers. And she took me to the back and told me off about speaking Welsh to the customers.”

Shortly after the incident, Ceri Hughes decided to leave her post, but not before submitting a complaint to the restaurant manager.

She says the manager refused to accept it as a valid reason for resigning.

KFC refused to discuss the specific case involved, but emphasized that staff in their restaurants have the freedom to use “any language” when communicating with customers.

“We always want our team members to use the language they and our visitors feel comfortable using,” a spokesman for the company told Golwg360.

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