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Almost all the employees of Thermal Ceramics France have taken to the picket line, striking for 3 hours every day. Why? Because despite the fact that the factory is based in France, their new director doesn’t speak a word of French.

This bizarre situation came about when the previous director moved abroad, and the company was unable to find an immediate replacement. The company put an interim director in place to bridge the gap while they recruit someone for the post.

Unfortunately, what may have seemed like a neat temporary solution to the company has caused them some rather large problems.
As one worker put it: “I don’t think it’s up to us to make the effort, we are in France, and we shouldn’t have to speak in English.” The company has assured its workers that the next director will definitely speak French, but unfortunately, the English-speaking director is not the only bone of contention. Amid protracted salary negotiations, the interim director’s inability to speak French has proved to be the needle that broke the camel’s back, and workers are striking. The workers had not previously gone on strike for over two decades, so this shows just how strongly they feel about the issue.

Unfortunately, this situation was completely avoidable. While I sympathise with the company’s need to provide an interim director, they could, and should, have taken measures to ensure that communication was possible. With the technology available today, it is possible to reach an interpreter over the telephone immediately, or via video-conference. I think it is a pity that the company has lost so much valuable time because of this strike, when they could easily have arranged interpreting services.

We can provide reasonably priced, superior-quality professional interpreting services for business. Don’t let the language barrier come between you and your employees. Our telephone interpreting services cover over 150 languages and are much cheaper than traditional interpreting services. Ask us today for more information.

Or if you are interested in French translation (as opposed to interpreting), then please contact us today for a free quote.

Casi todos los empleados de la empresa Thermal Ceramics France han levantado un piquete, realizando una huelga de tres horas al día. La razón es que pesar del hecho de que la fábrica tiene su sede en Francia, su nuevo director no habla una palabra de francés.

Esta extraña situación se produjo cuando el anterior director fue trasladado al extranjero y la empresa fue incapaz de encontrar un sustituto inmediato. Mientras buscaban al candidato, se contrató a un director interino para ocupar el puesto.

Por desgracia, lo que parecía una buena solución temporal, ha causado a la empresa algunos problemas bastante graves.
Como dijo uno de sus empleados: “No creo que nos correponda a nosotros hacer el esfuerzo, estamos en Francia, y no deberíamos estar obligados a hablar inglés”. La compañía ha asegurado a sus trabajadores que el próximo director definitivamente hablará francés, pero, por desgracia, el director de habla inglesa no es el único motivo de la discordia. La gota que colmó el vaso ha sido la incapacidad del director interino de hablar francés en mitad de prolongadas negociaciones salariales. Este ha sido el motivo de la huelga, que es la primera que los trabajadores lanzan desde hace más de dos décadas, lo que demuestra lo afectados que estos están sobre el tema.

Por desgracia, esta situación era totalmente evitable. Aunque estoy de acuerdo con la necesidad de la compañía de contratar a un director interino, esta podría, y debería, haber tomado medidas para garantizar que la comunicación fuera posible. Con la tecnología disponible hoy en día, es posible conseguir un intérprete telefónico o por videoconferencia de forma inmediata. Creo que es una lástima que esta compañía haya perdido tan valioso tiempo a causa de esta huelga, con lo fácil que hubiera sido contratar un servicio de interpretación.

Ofrecemos un precio razonable, de la más alta calidad para servicios profesionales de interpretación para negocios. No deje que la barrera del idioma se interponga entre usted y sus empleados. Nuestros servicios de interpretación telefónica cubren más de 150 idiomas y son mucho más baratos que los servicios de interpretación tradicionales. Consúltenos hoy para más información.


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French company striking for a francophone boss
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Example of why businesses need to ensure communication.
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