The Plenary of the Barcelona Chamber of Commerce undertakes to promote Catalan among companies “in the face of attacks and setbacks suffered by the use of the language.” The Plenary of the institution has approved this Wednesday a manifesto in which it rejects any action that involves an attack on the use of Catalan as the language of Catalonia. For this reason, it calls on companies based in Catalonia to incorporate Catalan as the language of habitual and vehicular use.
The Chamber justifies the manifesto by the “attacks suffered by the use of the Catalan language in different areas of society”, for which it undertakes to promote the use of Catalan among the productive fabric, “in compliance with its legal attributions”, and put tools are available to help cover any deficiencies that they may have and that prevent their normal use.
The Chamber calls on companies based in Catalonia to incorporate Catalan as a language of habitual use in their internal relations, as well as with suppliers and clients, and is conspiring to increase the use of Catalan in business.
The manifesto summons the different chambers, associations and business representation entities to join this manifesto and carry out the necessary actions in their respective fields of action to make Catalan the language of habitual use in companies. The current chamber law provides for its function as an institution that promotes linguistic normalization in the field of commerce, industry, services and navigation (article 11 of Law 14/2002, of June 27, on official chambers of commerce , industry and navigation of Catalonia and the General Council of the Chambers).
The latest Survey of Linguistic Uses, prepared by Idescat, points out the regression in the use of Catalan practically outside school, including commerce. As an example, in 2003 47.3% of the population used Catalan in small businesses, a figure that fell to 37.8% in 2018, while Spanish in the same period went from 36.9% to 42.2%. This linguistic substitution also occurs in large establishments.
The use of the Catalan language in the economic and business sphere does not escape this process of decline: Catalan has gone from being the usual language of 40.5% of the population with co-workers to 30.4% in the period 2003-2018 while Spanish has gone from 35.3% to 39.2%.
The Chamber considers that the linguistic immersion model has proven to be inclusive and key to the success of the social inclusion process. In this sense, the judgment of the TSJC, confirmed by the Supreme Court, which imposes 25% of the teaching hours in Spanish is for the institution chaired by Mònica Roca “one more example of this attack on the immersion model and endangers not only the success of the model but also aggravates the decline in the use of Catalan in schools “.
The corporation considers that the ruling “puts the protection of the Catalan language at risk” so the business world considers that “it should feel challenged by this situation” and vindicate “the need for public policies to support the Catalan language in the activity business “.