Pee-break ruling relieves workers

CITY DIARY

A French judge ruled on Monday that workers may go for a pee without needing their employer's permission. "The right to go to the lavatory cannot be subject to authorisation by someone else," the head of the industrial tribunal at Quimperle, North-west France, said in a landmark ruling to end the months-long "pee-break" dispute.

The Lucien Bigard slaughterhouse last year decreed five-minute breaks three times a day for 250 meat packers. The outraged workers downed tools for three days in August. The factory owner partly backed down but insisted that workers had to get a replacement before going to the toilet.

The workers took the matter to court. The judge ruled workers could be asked to tell their supervisors when they needed to go but their "freedom to go to the toilet" could not be restricted by obliging them to get a replacement. What a relief.

Cheltenham races last week turned sour for the private client stockbrokers Astaire & Partners when their party was told to "f... off" by a group of "yobs and oiks" booked under "Blue Circle Group". Blue Circle Industries said yesterday that it does not use the term "Group", and that it had no knowledge of any of its people visiting the races, or of the unsavoury incident.

Steven Astaire, clearly still angry, described yesterday how his party had arrived at a restaurant overlooking the course, only to find its table occupied. The eight occupiers acknowledged that they had booked a different table, but said they were happy where they were and weren't going to move. A brisk altercation ensued.

The waitress, her supervisor and the manager were all unable to shift them, said Mr Astaire. "It was sheer yobbish behaviour by a bunch of oiks," he said.

Can anyone clear up the mystery of who they were?

So George Simpson is leaving the Lucas chief executive's chair to take over at GEC. When Lucas chairman Sir Brian Pearse was asked yesterday whether GEC would be paying a transfer fee, the jovial former banker indicated they would: "Gazza went to Rangers for pounds 4m and he's not even an accountant."

Lucas wants GEC to buy out Simpson's remaining three-year contract, which runs out in March 1997. The cost is likely to be in the tens of thousands. Simpson himself dropped a blooper, telling journalists: "When I go to GKN..." He slapped his head and hurriedly added "That was the last offer." Oh to be loved.

Today Rob Andrew, the former England rugby player and ex-property agent, attempts to beat the world record for a place kick at the 1996 Property Awards. Yesterday Ernie Cooper rang us up to remind us that he holds the world record - for a goal during an actual game.

According to the Guinness Book of Records, he kicked an 81-yard goal in 1944 as a 17-year-old while captaining Bridlington School against an Army XV.

Now a representative for Sun Life in Hull, Ernie puts it all down to "a good follow through. That's what gets you the distance."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor and Clara have their first real heart to heart since he regenerated in 'Deep Breath'
TV
Life and Style
Apple showed no sign of losing its talent for product launches with the new, slightly larger iPhone 6 making headlines
techSecurity breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie Oliver
filmTV chef Jamie Oliver turned down role in The Hobbit
News
The official police photograph of Dustin Diamond taken after he was arrested in Wisconsin
peopleDownfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Jeremy Clarkson, left, and Richard Hammond upset the locals in South America
tvReview: Top Gear team flee Patagonia as Christmas special reaches its climax in the style of Butch and Sundance
News
people
Sport
Ashley Barnes of Burnley scores their second goal
footballMan City vs Burnley match report
Arts and Entertainment
Peter Mayhew as Chewbacca alongside Harrison Ford's Han Solo in 'Star Wars'
film
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Man of action: Christian Bale stars in Exodus: Gods and Kings
film
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Arts and Entertainment
Tracy Emin's 1998 piece 'My Bed' on display at Christie's
artOne expert claims she did not
News
Ernesto Che Guevara and Fidel Castro, right, met at Havana Golf Club in 1962 to mock the game
newsFidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
News
Hackers revealed Oscar-winning actress Lawrence was paid less than her male co-stars in American Hustle
people
Arts and Entertainment
Clueless? Locked-door mysteries are the ultimate manifestation of the cerebral detective story
booksAs a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
Sport
Robin van Persie is blocked by Hugo Lloris
footballTottenham vs Manchester United match report
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant- NY- Investment Bank

Not specified: Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant Top tier investment bank i...

Selby Jennings: Quantitative Research | Equity | New York

Not specified: Selby Jennings: Quantitative Research | Global Equity | New Yor...

Selby Jennings: SVP Model Validation

Not specified: Selby Jennings: SVP Model Validation This top tiered investment...

Selby Jennings: Oil Operations

Highly Competitive: Selby Jennings: Our client, a leading European Oil trading...

Day In a Page

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

Who remembers that this week we enter the 150th anniversary year of the end of the American Civil War, asks Robert Fisk
Homeless Veterans appeal: Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served

Homeless Veterans appeal

Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served
Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing

Scarred by the bell

The downfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Security breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Cuba's golf revolution: But will the revolutionary nation take 'bourgeois' game to its heart?

Will revolutionary Cuba take 'bourgeois' golf to its heart?

Fidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
The Locked Room Mysteries: As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor Otto Penzler explains the rules of engagement

The Locked Room Mysteries

As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
Amy Adams on playing painter Margaret Keane in Tim Burton's Big Eyes

How I made myself Keane

Amy Adams hadn’t wanted to take the role of artist Margaret Keane, because she’d had enough of playing victims. But then she had a daughter, and saw the painter in a new light
Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Parting view of Ofcom chief... we hate jokes on the disabled

Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog, Ed Richards
A look back at fashion in 2014: Wear in review

Wear in review

A look back at fashion in 2014
Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015. Might just one of them happen?

Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015

Might just one of them happen?
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?