"Gently turned out for refusing to communicate"

The protest of defenders of Russian schools in Riga

Right-wing politicians in Latvia are sounding the alarm. In the country there was a paradoxical situation: because of ignorance of the English language. In order to change the situation and strengthen the position of the native language, Parliament propose legislation to oblige the employees of all organizations and enterprises, including private, to communicate in the workplace only in Latvian. “Ribbon.ru” is clear why in Latvia the state language is losing ground and how there is a struggle for their strengthening.

During the years of independence in Latvia, At the time, their parents were convinced that it makes no difference. This choice seemed logical in the near future. It was logical to assume that the Russian-speaking population, in turn, will begin to learn the Latvian language.

But something went wrong. Latvia remained a bilingual state. Not surprisingly, most employers, especially in the service sector, require candidates equally good knowledge of Latvian and Russian. Now the young people, who at one time made a choice in favor of English, have difficulty with employment. In the presence of jobs, it is easier to find a job in Europe.

This paradoxical situation. Recently on Twitter the National bloc appeared the video, which tells about the language of the Latvian youth. In the frame of the girl in front of her on the computer monitor announcements of employment. The girl looks one after the other, but everywhere requires knowledge of “krievu valoda” Russian language. Finally she finds a vacancy at no additional language requirements. Is the interview and … on the door of the organization. The logical conclusion: the girl collects a suitcase, arrives at the airport and takes a ticket to Dublin.

"Gently turned out for refusing to communicate"Photo: Igor Zarembo / RIA Novosti

It is clear that the situation must be somehow remedied, although to call. Another thing is to limit the use of Russian. In an attempt to rectify the situation, the national unit has a special amendment to the law on labor. They give the right employee in the performance of official duties to communicate with the residents of Latvia only in Latvian. According to the parliamentarian from the Netblock Edwin Schnoor, thus it is possible to protect the Latvians, giving them a legitimate opportunity to talk in working hours in other languages.

I must admit that this is not the first law in the professional sphere. Six years ago, the Saeima considered the draft law, prohibiting to demand from the applicant of the knowledge of foreign languages ​​in employment. Then, in 2012, members attended to the statistical data, according to which in the largest cities of the Republic, especially in the private sector. It is not surprising, because in the big cities of Russian-speaking is at least half of the population. And if you add to them the number of customers coming from Russia, it becomes clear desire of of employers to hire people with knowledge of the Russian language. In the end, the Latvians can not be found in private companies, but even in government offices, if their customer is dominated by those who speak only Russian.

"Gently turned out for refusing to communicate"The building of the Latvian Saeima in Riga

Widely-known complaint for “language discrimination” lawyer Evita Kuzma, which is not admitted to work in the human rights of the Bureau of Latvia (office of the Commissioner for Human Rights). She had a good command of English, but do not know Russian. She explained that more than half of the clients of public institutions are Russian-speaking, and without appropriate language skills. “I think that the actions of the Ombudsman is unfair and discriminatory.” Especially a pity that so goes to the institution of the mission of which is to combat discrimination in Latvia. “

A few months ago in the Latvian media animatedly discussed the history of trauma Dita the Danos. She claimed that her leadership of the clinic in Riga forced her to resign because of the reluctance to talk with patients and colleagues in Russian.

The Netblock co-Chairman Raivis Dzintars is sure that the young man was “lucky” to grow up in a small Latvian town, where knowledge of Russian is not a necessity. It is not a secret that the greatest number of people in the world is. Unable to find work at home, he will be forced to go to look for her in Ireland, the UK or another European country. According to Dzintars, a paradox and a sad irony is not forced to leave those who do not know the state language, and not vice versa. In the end multilingual Russian in Latvia are much more successful than monolingual Latvian neighbors.

But the legislative limitations, the most obvious solution to this problem. When in 2012 the deputies decided to forbid to demand from the knowledge of foreign languages. The Confederation of Employers (LKR). The CEO of LKR League Mengelsone believes that in the situation of the state, the employer choose the most qualified experts, the country will be very difficult to build a competitive business.

Even a member of the Netblock, the Minister of Culture žaneta Jaunzeme-Grende said that the knowledge of the Russian language would be useful for Latvian children. “How is it that children growing up in a Russian-speaking family, richer than ours – said Jaunzeme-Grende – Very simple:?. They are fluent in Russian and Latvian, but the Latvian children have become poorer, as do not speak Russian “.

However, when the operators were given to understand, the bill was not circumvented. For example, in Latvia it is forbidden to specify age limits in job ads, but it does not hurt anyone to deny too young or older applicants. And foreign language. Can you think of any other reason – people do not understand.

"Gently turned out for refusing to communicate"

People wait for the opening of the office in Riga

But if the Seimas will, the employers will not be so easy to deny the applicant. According to the leader of the Latvian party “For native language!” Vladimir Linderman, the bill provides that if an applicant is not employed, he is not accepted or dismissed because of ignorance of the Russian language, to prove the opposite to the employer. “That doctor gently turn out for refusing to communicate with patients in Russian, will be able to destroy their employers, if the amendments are adopted, – the politician says -. Let’s say the employee was fired for drunkenness, but he argues that the ignorance of the Russian language. “And the employer will have to prove that he was right.” It’s a waste of time, money, effort, etc … “

Linderman also fears that they will now begin to discriminate against the Russian-speaking workers. He proposes to consider a typical example: the owner of the shop. Into place expect the citizen of Ivanov, and the citizen the daily mail. Ivanova native language – Russian, Latvian she understands and can communicate with customers. At Janson native language – Latvian, in Russian does not speak at all.

– It would seem that we must take on the work of Ivanov that it happens in such cases, says Linderman. But authorities impose the rate at which the employee is not required to know. And if in our case, the store owner will give preference. Ivanova, Janson may file a complaint against him in court. The entrepreneur will have to prove his innocence, to think of any other good reason. But if his arguments do not convince the court – a fine of up to five thousand euros. What is worse for the entrepreneur to lose a certain amount of Russian buyers, or get under the repression of the state machine? It is clear that the store owner pomeritsya and take on the work of the citizen Janson. Nothing will master in the couple of months. Everything is better than to be dragged through the courts and carry to the state language Center (SLB).

However, in the struggle of the Latvian politicians for the position of the native language and the rights of its speakers. CGA, by the way, is considered in Latvia institution is very powerful. The center has the right to penalize and dismiss a person for poor knowledge of Latvian. And, in the recent past, there were cases when the Center of the Court was elected.

"Gently turned out for refusing to communicate"

Photo: Ints Kalnins / Reuters 1/2

And now the inspectors CGA obsessed with Richard ahima – mayor of the second largest city of Daugavpils is predominantly Russian-speaking population. CGA, mayor Agim failed the proposed tests. In October last year, the Center has already fined it for “lack of knowledge of Latvian”. At that time he was given six months to improve his knowledge of the state language. If Agim and this time failed the exam, he most likely will have to leave the post.

This history should not deserve special attention. A statement to the SLB on his former colleague and competitor wrote the ex-mayor of Daugavpils Andrew Elksnin.

Elksnin was elected deputies of the city Assembly of the city of Daugavpils in June of last year – immediately after the next municipal elections. But in just two months, the deputies were disappointed in his choice and by a majority of voters. Shortly thereafter deposed the mayor has a competitor in a bad knowledge of the state language.

Case agima can become for Latvia as a kind of Pandora’s box, when the method is quite obvious and justified. However, there is a silver lining. An example of the mayor of Daugavpils was a lesson for other Russian-speaking politicians who are now trying to find the time to sit on a textbook of the Latvian. And there is nothing wrong. On the contrary, it is strange that they have not done it before. In the European countries, for example, a good knowledge of the state language is the first thing a politician thinks of starting his career.

But the benefits of the Netblock of the new amendment to the Law on Labor are not so obvious. And it’s not only that the negligent employees after layoffs, say, in the drunkenness. Worse, because such artificial restrictions in Latvia are limited to the competition in the labor market, as mentioned by the head of the LKR League Mengelsone. It is the smallest and the smallest medium-sized businesses in the retail trade, but for the big business, anyway focused on Russia, the new rules will be an unpleasant surprise.


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