CEREAL offenders at the headquarters of a leading North Sea service group have been banned from using milk after going through more than 100 pints a day.
• Ban for employees of North Sea firm who use milk for their cereal after consuming more than 100 pints a day
• Sparrows insist move is not a cost-cutting measure, and milk will still be available for those who drink tea and coffee
• Milk ban prompted by “cereal offenders” is called “draconian” by union
Bosses at Sparrows Offshore in Aberdeen have been forced to slap the ban on free milk being used by staff for their morning cereals after running out of fresh milk for use in coffee and tea by both staff and visitors.
Staff at the company’s main offices and workshops at Seton House on the Murcar Industrial Estate at the Bridge of Don have been helping themselves to the milk, meant to be used for beverages throughout the day, when they arrive for work and have breakfast on site.
Richard Wilson, Sparrows Executive Director for Europe and Africa, stressed today that the ban on the use of milk for cereals was not a cost cutting measure.
He said: “Despite providing the equivalent of almost two cows worth of milk everyday – enough for seven cups of tea or coffee for each of the 450 people in our Aberdeen offices and workshops, we were still running out by lunch time.
“This was not a cost-cutting exercise but an attempt by facilities management to avoid repeatedly running out of milk half way through the day.”
He added: “They were only targeting the cereal offenders. I have had a word and there will be no further milking of this issue.”
The milk ban will not affect staff working offshore.
The company announced the milk ban in an email sent to all office staff by the firm’s facilities manager who has urged workers to report any colleagues they catch flouting the new rules so offenders can be “dealt with.”
The email states: “There is well in excess of 100 pints of milk distributed between our facilities each day.
“The milk 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 offender’s name and I will deal with them.”
A company source told the Scotsman: “This is a storm in a tea cup. The staff who have their breakfast before they come to work were getting really hacked off about it. Half way through the day they were going for a cup of tea of coffee and all the milk had been used up because other folk were using it for their cereal. The company supplies about £5,000 worth of free milk for staff a year for their coffees and teas.
“Everybody is supposed to get enough milk for seven cups of tea or coffee a day and that should be more than sufficient. It was the staff who complained to the facilities management about what was happening.”
Jake Molloy, of the RMT union, condemned the ban. He pointed out that earlier this week Sparrows, which supplies offshore lifting and mechanical handling services to the oil and gas industry, had announced winning £150 million in contracts in Europe and Africa and an additional £40 million in orders and contracts in the USA, Middle East and Asia.
He declared: “Thin is a great reward to the staff for helping win hundreds of millions of pounds worth of contracts. What a draconian way to treat people. For a multi million pound operation and global corporation like Sparrows to refuse to provide free milk for their workers for their cereals is a shocking state of affairs.
“To get as petty as this is simply going to disenfranchise and demoralise the workforce. What a way to drive wedges amongst a workforce. It’s absolutely appalling.”