MONTREAL - The Montreal Transit Authority will not disclose the details of a report that subway employees allegedly told a client they ‘don’t serve English people.'
Michael Dunning, a 55-year-old church minister, says he asked for an all-day subway pass in English earlier this month. He claims two subway employees told him they wouldn’t serve him in English and allegedly laughed and cursed him behind the service window.
In a letter to Dunning, Sylvain Joly, a representative with Société de Transport de Montréal’s (STM) legal department, wrote, ‘‘Your complaint will receive a confidential treatment according to the legislation applicable in this matter.’’
The transit authority has apologized to the man but says it won’t reveal the details of an investigation into his complaint.
‘‘...we want to point out that the customer service offered to our clients remains a priority for the STM. From that perspective, the words you reported were actually said to you. The STM regrets the unfortunate event,’’ the letter said.
STM spokeswoman Marianne Rouette said subway employees are protected by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms in Quebec and cited it as the reason why STM will not make public the results of the investigation.
‘‘Let’s say you do something bad and someone takes action ... under the Charter, you, just like me, we’re protected,’’ Rouette said, explaining privacy is the rule in employee-employer relations.
Article 45 and 46 of Quebec's French-language law stipulate that an employer cannot reproach an employee for not being able to speak a language other than French. Nor can employers force an employee to speak anything other than French on the job, unless their specific duties necessitate them knowing another language.