Poles banned from speaking Polish in Scottish Lidl
PR dla Zagranicy
Polish staff have been banned from speaking their native language at a branch of the Lidl supermarket in Kirkcaldly, east Scotland.
Members of the Polish community in the Fife town are collecting signatures in protest against the ban, arguing that being able to converse with shop assistants in their native tongue is advantageous to Lidl.
“I tried to explain to the manager that many customers who do not speak English correctly come to our shop because they know there is a Polish service at the cash desk, bakery and shop floor as well,” one Lidl employee told The Scotsman.
“It is very sad to be forced to speak English to people who do not understand it and feel confused as they expect to be served in Polish.”
However, a spokesman for Lidl has responded that “it is Lidl UK company policy that staff speak in English to customers at all times, irrespective of nationality.”
A survey by Oxford University’s Migration Observatory found that from 2001 to 2011, Scotland's Polish-born community grew from 2505 to 55,231, making Poles the country's biggest minority. The main catalyst for the rise in numbers was Poland's accession to the EU in 2004. (nh)