I remember a quote from “Luke Nguyen’s Greater Mekong”, where the celebrity chef declares,
I don’t speak the language, but the language of food speaks to me
That apparently doesn’t resonate with popular frozen yogurt chain, Llaollao, which is currently being investigated by the Tripartite Alliance for Fair and Progressive Employment Practices (TAFEP) for possibly violating employment guidelines, according to local newspaper TODAY.
Its offence? Turning away a potential employee – a local Punjabi woman – at a walk-in interview at the West Mall outlet after she revealed she did not speak Mandarin.
Cue in Facebook post by the lady, Karish Kaur, on 7 January that brought up the point on “the fact that this is a multiracial country and that (surprise surprise) there are people who do not speak Chinese?”.
Well put, Ms Kaur. We definitely empathise with your predicament on this matter. It’s ridiculous for an employer to hire service staff based on specific language requirements in multiracial Singapore.
Llaollao issued a public apology on Facebook two days ago, but short of boycotting the place (the yogurt is innocent), we can’t help but feel that this case has already struck a sour note with some of its customers.
FYI, TAFEP’s first point in their 5 principles of Fair Employment Practices is:
Recruit and select employees on the basis of merit (such as skills, experience or ability to perform the job), and regardless of age, race, gender, religion, marital status and family responsibilities, or disability.