YOU CAN JOIN THE SILENT TRIBUTE TO THE BOMB VICTIMS ... BUT NOT IN WORK TIME - FMVperformance.com : The site for all your Ford Mazda and Volvo needs
 
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post #1 of 1 (permalink) Old 07-19-2005, 06:42 PM Thread Starter
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YOU CAN JOIN THE SILENT TRIBUTE TO THE BOMB VICTIMS ... BUT NOT IN WORK TIME

A manager at a Hull IT company told staff they could not observe the two-minute silence for victims of the London bombings, unless they deducted time from their lunch break.

The firm later said it was an unauthorised e-mail that had been sent out by mistake.

STAFF at a Hull IT firm were told they could not observe the two-minute silence for victims of the London bombings - unless they deducted the time from their lunch hour.

According to an e-mail leaked to the Mail, staff at Zeda Limited were told their Nottingham head office "did not recognise" the official silence, marked by millions of people across the UK at midday yesterday.

But Zeda's managing director today denied it had been company policy, claiming a Hull manager sent out the "unauthorised" e-mail to staff as a "genuine mistake". Yet workers were shocked by the apparent lack of respect for the 54 people who died and 700 who were injured in last Thursday's four terrorist blasts.

One employee, who did not want to be named, said: "It's a disgrace. It takes people longer to go to the toilet or have a cigarette, which we're allowed to do, than it would to respect the silence."

The e-mail was sent by Zeda client services manager Wouter Haayman to the 26 staff at the Hull office in Wilberforce Court, Alfred Gelder Street, at 10.19am yesterday.

It read: "We have been informed by head office that Zeda do not recognise the two-minute silence to commemorate the victims of last week's terror attack in London.

"Anyone who would like to show their respect is allowed to do so in his or her own way, provided the time lost will be deducted from today's lunch break."

Elsewhere in Hull, shoppers stopped in their tracks, buses pulled over, people came out of their offices and others gathered in Queen Victoria Square to observe the silence.

Zeda group managing director Bill Douglas denied its head office had authorised the message sent at the Hull office.

He said: "Staff were not forbidden to express their personal respect by commemorating the victims of last week's terror attack in London with two minutes' silence.

"It was wrong for this unauthorised e-mail from a departmental manager to state otherwise.

"It is absolutely not the case that 'time lost' would be deducted from people's lunch breaks.

"Zeda abhors any act of terrorism and its effects, no matter where it may be committed, whether in London or anywhere else."

The Mail contacted staff at the firm's head office in Nottingham and one of its other offices in Stirling.

Staff in Nottingham said they had been out on the streets to pay their respects, while their colleagues in Scotland said they were told they would be free to observe the silence without any penalties.

The Mail tried repeatedly to contact Mr Haayman about his e-mail.

Despite leaving at least three messages at his office and three on his mobile phone, he did not return our calls.

Each time we rang the office, we were told he was in a meeting. A Mail reporter waited for his call until 10pm, long after the office was locked up. On one occasion when we rang, a receptionist said: "I don't think he wants to speak to you."

Mr Douglas refused to comment on whether further action was being taken by the firm.

The Lord Mayor of Hull Councillor Bryan Bradley sent a letter of condolence to Mayor of London Ken Livingstone after the attacks.

Cllr Bradley said: "The Zeda managing director should take out an advert in the press to apologise. It's appalling, an absolute disgrace."

Zeda has been established for nearly 30 years.

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