Except for the fact you mostly get Croatians, Serbians and Poles here it's exactly the same. My parents rented a basement office (in the house over at the Non US systems forum) and now the new owners (a big company that owns several hundred houses) have work done... usually two guys on the job speak German, the other's don't. And if those foremen aren't around... forget it. Like the movers... a smallish company, the owner helping too. The owner spoke decent German, but none of his workers even understood a word. He talked to them in some slavic language (to my ear they're too similar to tell apart, I guess it was Serbian or Croatian, just because it's most common here).
I live in Ottawa a city that borders Quebec in Canada and is also the nations capital. To work in the government you MUST speak french but english is optional! If you call a government office they answer in french. Jobsites, all tradesmen are french. Electricians, plumbers everyone. Even where I work we have the "french connection". These guys are always kept together, work well together but if they need a hand I don't go. Nothing like sitting in a room for lunch where everyone is talking(probably about me) and you don't understand a word! Also someone living in Quebec can work here no problem but if you live in Ontario you can't work in Quebec? This has been a long fight that has no end in site. If you open a buisness in Quebec your sign MUST be in french. If you open a business in Ontario your sign MUST be biligual.
They also don't like english speaking Americans either. A long w/e vacation trip to Canada was quickly found to be a mistake. We were treated like illegals trying to take their fisrt born. I knew there was a reason I didn't like Canada!
I had that one last year... you just gotta LOVE being in a room with 8 people talking croatian! Well, as I learned some words I quickly found out I was glad I didn't understand more... their gestures were easy to get too. There were pretty much two topics... women and BMWs. The second year apprentice didn't even have his license yet, but already bought his first used BMW... and no, it's by no means a cheap car here...
One thing I have learned with the latinos is if you attempt to talk to them in spanish their english suddenly gets better. I guess murdering their language makes them more at ease murdering your language. Most construction conversations revolve around a 20 or 30 word vocabulary anyway. I do think the various trade/professional organizations should have some language classes, specifically aimed at builders. It should count as a CEU class. That may not set right with everyone but it is reality.
Quote:They also don't like english speaking Americans either. A long w/e vacation trip to Canada was quickly found to be a mistake. We were treated like illegals trying to take their fisrt born. I knew there was a reason I didn't like Canada!
Are you sure It's only the Canadians? If you were travelling anywhere else in the world do you think you'd be treated the same? Put a Canada flag on your backpack, your treated like gold.
At all times, all contractor personnel on site must have sufficient knowledge of the English language to comprehend safety related directions and requirements. At all times the contractor shall have a lead representative on site who has sufficient comprehension of the English language to read, write, speak and understand all job related directions and discussions.
I guess the next obvious question is, do we enforce this during performance of the contract? I have no idea.
Radar (The 3 G's of good government: Greed, Graft, & Gratuity)
There are 10 types of people. Those who know binary, and those who don't.