Bosses accused of udder cheek over milk ban


BOSSES at an offshore firm have banned workers from putting milk on their morning cereal – saying staff are “milking” them.

Sparrows’ 450-strong workforce, based in Aberdeen, are said to have gone through the equivalent of three cows’ worth of milk every day provided by the company.

Union leaders branded the move “petty”, and workers say they are shocked by the decision.

But the company’s executive director insisted “the milk of human kindness only goes so far”.

A memo to staff warns the “use of this milk for cereal is to cease with immediate effect”.

A stern warning from a facilities manager at the firm was emailed to all staff, telling workers to shop colleagues who broke the milk ban.

It said: “There is well in excess of 100 pints of milk distributed between our facilities each day.

“The milke purchased by the company is for use with tea and coffee. The use of this milk for cereal is to cease with immediate effect.

“There will be no increase to the quantity of milk delivered.

“All employees are asked for their help in policing this matter.

“If you see someone using the milk other than for tea and coffee and you do not want to challenge them, drop me an email with the offenders name and I will deal with them personally.”

One worker, who did not want to be named over fears for his job, said: “It is ridiculous and people are not happy about it.

“A lot of the people who do work here have to come in really early to beat the traffic. As a result, many have their breakfast on-site to try and save a bit of time in the morning.

“Nobody could really believe it when this memo came out. And the rules are actually being enforced.”

Richard Wilson, executive director of the offshore lifting firm, laughed off the row.

He said: “Despite providing the equivalent of nearly three cows’ worth of milk every day – enough for seven cups of tea of coffee for each of the 450 people in our Aberdeen offices and workshops – we were still running out by luncthime and the milk of human kindness  only goes so far.

“While facilities management were only targeting the cereal offenders, I have had a word and there will be no further milking of this issue.”

Jake Molloy, of the RMT union, said: “This company has been publicising multimillion-pound contracts that it has just won, so to follow that up with a diktat telling workers not to put milk in their cereal is very ironic.

“It is so petty it is not even laughable. This is the first time I have heard of anything like this happening.”

Earlier this week, Sparrows said it had won contracts worth more than £190 million in the past three months.

The firm specialises in mechanical handling and offshore lifting for the energy sector.

It said the extra work would secure more than 100 jobs onshore and offshore, with 54 now positions already created.