“If you must be here, respect the Welsh language”

Members of the Pantycelyn group of Cymdeithas yr Iaith have gathered outside Aberystwyth Starbucks today (Friday 29/04) calling on the company to respect the Welsh language.

It is alleged that a member ofstaff at Starbucks recently told a customer to "Speak English or get out". The company now denies that this happened

Manon Elin, chair of Cymdeithas' language rights group who is also a member of the Pantycelyn group said:

"It strikes us as odd that someone, with a high public profile, would tweet about something like this if there is no truth to it. But the fact remains that the company, like every other company, should ensure that all staff are aware of the importance of offering a service in Welsh, and that the Welsh language has official status.

"It is the staff's responsibility to learn Welsh to serve customers, not expect customers to use English. As there was an allegation that an individual's freedom to speak Welsh was interfered with, which is illegal, we have asked the Welsh Language Commissioner to investigate. "

Elfed Jones, Chair of the Pantycelyn group of Cymdeithas yr Iaith added:

"Cymdeithas has sent a letter to the company's national HQ about the situation but we felt that something should be done locally too. We encourage everyone to go to local cafes. But given that not everyone will want to do so, all staff at Starbucks should have language awareness training, and be provided with Welsh lessons. "