Transit worker suspended over language complaint

Posted By: Andrew Peplowski · 11/23/2012 9:06:00 AM

A hard-headed Metro station ticket booth attendant has been suspended for refusing to serve English speaking customers, and it's the third time he's been cited.

The Journal de Montreal says the attendant has worked at both the Peel and Atwater Metro stations and in all three cases going back to June, he refused to address clients who spoke to him in English.

He says says he has a right to work in French.

The STM won't comment on a particular case but has said company policy is that employees must use other means to communicate if they don't speak another language.

The union claims that it is the customer's responsibility to find someone to help them if they can not communicate with a transit worker.

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  1. Adam posted on 11/23/2012 09:20 AM
    While I agree it is partailly his employers responsibility to place him where he will do the most good. His attitude shows he doesn't have what it takes to be in a customer service enviroment. While I hope he resigns, I suspect he will be back because the ATM won't fire him.
  2. mary scott posted on 11/23/2012 09:32 AM
    ANYONE in the service industry in Quebec should be obligated to speak basic french and english. This is beginning to border on a civil rights issue. ENGLISH is the worldwide languge not french. I would like to see this person function when he travels on vacation or business to anyone outside of his belle province. As long as the STM circles it's wagons and condones such ignorant and unprofessional behavior this problem will persist and Quebec will continue to lose tourists, film industry projects and the respect of every other province. Quebec is a joke.
    1. Jenny posted on 11/23/2012 10:12 AM
      @mary scott You know what will happen Mary, he will go somewhere and bitch like the low-class-trash-hick that he is. My family visited Florida a few years back and encountered an individual such as him. He DEMANDED service in FRENCH at the IHOP and when the girl spoke to him in broken french, he yelled at her because it was not good enough. The Manager walked up to him and asked him and his 9 hicks joining him to leave their store. He was yelling and the cops were called to "escort" the loser and his (seemingly embarrassed) hiller friends out.
      Vive Le (maudit) Quebec Libre I always say. Let them stay here and stew in their own juices. Idiots.
    2. jen posted on 11/23/2012 05:19 PM
      @mary scott Mary I feel like I wrote your comment myself! Well said!
  3. David posted on 11/23/2012 09:41 AM
    Are you kidding me that it is the "customer's responsibility to find someone to help them if they can not communicate with a transit worker"???!!! This is his job!!! to help commuters....
  4. Thomas posted on 11/23/2012 09:48 AM
    The union's response to this is idiotic "The union claims that it is the customer's responsibility to find someone to help them if they can not communicate with a transit worker." The STM provides a service to it's customers, they should provide something called customer service. Besides I don't see what this guy's issue was, he's pretty much nothing more than a way overpaid cashier.
  5. Mike D posted on 11/23/2012 09:57 AM
    This poor man must be under immense stress. It's not easy sitting in that booth and we should all give him a little break. Perhaps we could have a translator in the booth with him to help him out.
    1. LMAO posted on 11/23/2012 11:04 AM
      @Mike D I think it's disgusting that they don't already have a personal interpreter assigned to the ticket booths for these people. It is inhuman that we are treating these poor workers this way.
      We should also make it very clear to all transit users that it is there absolute right to expect no service, civility or respect as paying customers when travelling on the system.
  6. Joe posted on 11/23/2012 10:13 AM
    We are in a day and age where the unions are no longer needed. They do nothing for the workers except take their money on a weekly basis, they do not nothing for society, so why do they still exist? If you guys think that the mob is crooked you dont have a clue to the unions, they are the most corruput of all. And why is it that this ticket taker's name is never printed? Why cant we know who that rotten apple is? Maybe if he wishes to only work in french, he should be sent to Rimouski or Rouyn Noranda or Jonquiere. Montreal is th engine that keeps this lousy province afloat. And with the taxes that the anglos and immigrants pay, they should get a little more respect.
  7. Aubey Laufer posted on 11/23/2012 02:38 PM
    It,s about time time the S.T.M takes care on those hot headed worker who don,t want to speek english.
    The S.T.M. serves English and French people.
    The S.T,M must fire those bus drives,ticket tackers and metro operator must learn common sence.
    Since the P.Q> came to power on Sept. 4, 2012.
    Some employees at the S.T.M let the fact that the P.Q. go to there heads and must respect all passengers not only the french ones.
    If the worker follow there code of conduct they must me fired and the union must understand that the S.T.m is for everyone and not only the french.
    This must be brought up at the next S.T.M.gerneral meeting on Dec. 5. 2012
    We must voice are disapproval of those workers who don,t respect the minority anglophones living in the greater Montreal area.
    The meeting of the S.T.M. starts at 5pm to put your name on the list to ask question.
    The meeting officially starts 5:30 pm
    The location is 800 de la Gauchetierre on the 8rh floor.
    I was thrown of a bus no 430 for speaking english and German the driver of that bus no. 430 broke the rule of conduct about 2 weeks ago.
    1) The driver got of his seat.
    2) The driver put his hand on me.
    3) The driver physically foreced me of the bus and hit my head on the cement.
    4) This is not how we generate more passengers.
    5) This is how you lose tourists and Montreral could have a black mark on there reputation beacouse of some hot headed employees of the S.TM.
    6) The S.T.M. must have a zero tolerance for all employees of the S.T.M.
  8. Haggis posted on 11/23/2012 02:44 PM
    An old friend of mine who is a bus driver for the STM told me that the employees who man the ticket booths in the Metro are almost entirely flunkies from other positions. From what he's told me, the STM uses it as a dumping ground for bus drivers who can't handle the stress or have had too many accidents or complaints from ridership. It makes sense seeing how pretty much all of the news these days about STM employees who are difficult with the public in terms of language are ticket sellers in the Metro.
    1. JM posted on 11/27/2012 09:40 AM
      @Haggis I can attest this is not entirely true, Ticket Booth collectors is an official position and any bus or metro operator may choose to apply to the position in november for 1 year.

      The only instance where a driver is forced to be a ticket collector is if he is disqualified by the SAAQ as a driver driver.
  9. rosanne posted on 11/23/2012 03:04 PM



  10. Jay posted on 11/23/2012 03:37 PM
    I can just picture his head exploding when 50 english speaking people line up in front of his booth and ask him questions.
  11. Bernard Meean posted on 11/23/2012 03:46 PM
    Correct me if I am wrong but did Quebec separate while I wasn't looking. Last time I checked I still live in CANADA!! Canada just so happens to have 2 official languages English and French. I have no problem with Quebec empowering the French language in a sovereign Quebec. My problem is that many separatist are of a mind that if they say it loud enough and long enough that Quebec is a sovereign nation that it will become the reality.
    Dream on boys and girls.
    1. Eric posted on 11/26/2012 02:23 PM
      @Bernard Meean Correct me if I am wrong but I believe that language falls under Provincial law/legislation. If Alberta wanted Manderin to be the provinces official language that would be law. Unfortunately I think this is the case ad there is not much anyone can do about it.
  12. Paul posted on 11/23/2012 05:26 PM
    This is a customer facing service job. There is no room for morons like this in this kind of employment. It's because of these one tooth hillbillies hat this province has such a poor image. One idiot like this can undue a $100 million tourist advertising campaign.
  13. Susan posted on 11/23/2012 07:08 PM
    Does this hard headed nut job not realize that there are tourists and other non-French speaking customers that he must serve? I've never had the "pleasure" of meeting such a rude and unaccommodating individual, but it's people like him who give all Quebeckers a bad name.
  14. Normal guy posted on 11/23/2012 08:57 PM
    The unions response is completely backward. This should make everyone rethink why we even have unions anymore
  15. steve posted on 11/23/2012 09:09 PM
    If bill 101 protects this a-hole,it just shows what a bigoted and unjust law it really is! The customer's responsibility? Oh really! Not a surprising response from a separatist union who backs him up. I am sure he is looked at as a hero by many of his fraternal brothers and sisters. The STM are cowards.Quebec has become a ignorant backwater, and they call this culture. What a disgrace.
  16. CDU posted on 11/24/2012 08:27 AM
    If an STM worker has such disdain for English customers, why is he working in the centre of downtown? Perhaps he would feel much more comfortable working in the East end where he and his fellow unilingual citizens can live in a make-believe utopia sans les maudits anglais and we can live in peace without this non-sensical racism.
    1. JM posted on 11/27/2012 09:43 AM
      @CDU I disagree with you, there are more english people in the east-end than you think. I am one of these people. The secteur of Anjou/RDP is full of english mother-tongue Anglos.
  17. Jonathan posted on 11/26/2012 04:40 PM
    Maybe he can get the Google translate app for his 's
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