Foreign News: Mashers

For years the 500 employees of Sheffield machine tools factory "mashed" (Sheffield lingo for brewed) their own tea at midmorning, lunchtime and midafternoon. They brought their own tea, milk, sugar, mugs and teapots, got boiling water from the firm's gas boilers.

Last week management decided that tea-mashing was slowing down production, offered to provide free cups of tea twice a day, and give the men an extra ten-minute break in the morning. "To deny them the right to make tea in their own time is taking away their liberties," protested the plant's union. The...

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