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Firm Ends English-Only Policy; Workers Still Out

A computer parts factory has abolished its English-only policy following widespread criticism, but the 15 workers who lost jobs because of the rule will not be rehired.

Ochs Industries said Monday the policy has been scrapped because of an outcry from employees and Hispanic groups.

When the 200 full-time and temporary employees at the Houston plant were asked to sign a statement saying they understood the policy, 15 quit or said they were fired because they refused to sign.

Vandalia, Ohio-based Ochs Industries, which makes computer parts for Compaq Corp., said some were fired because they did not show up for work, not because they would not abide by the rules.

Those workers will not be asked to return to work, said Jim Simians, vice president of Ochs in Houston.

The policy was implemented less than two weeks ago after some employees complained they were being harassed by coworkers speaking languages other than English.


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