Latvia's nationalist party demands right for employees to use Latvian language

Source: Xinhua| 2017-11-14 03:29:32|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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RIGA, Nov. 13 (Xinhua) -- The National Alliance, the right-wing partner in Latvia's center-right government coalition, Monday proposed amendments to the Baltic country's labor legislation that would guarantee employees the rights to use the Latvian language at work.

It should be the unalienable right of "each employee in the services sector to reply in Latvian to residents of Latvia," the National Alliance insisted.

Many Latvian employees are required to speak a foreign language, usually Russian, for private sector jobs, as well as jobs in government and municipal institutions.

Raivis Dzintars, the leader of the nationalist party's faction in parliament, said in a statement to media that it was "humiliating when an employer forbids an employee to use the state language in communication with other residents" of Latvia.

The National Alliance also claims that the lack of such language regulation in Latvia's labor law is discriminatory towards ethnic Latvian employees who do not speak Russian as they are practically unable to get jobs in regions of Latvia where the proportion of Russian speakers is very high.

The problem, according to the National Alliance, is especially pressing in Latvia's largest cities where ethnic Latvians only make up around 40 percent of the total population.