Letter: Efficient recycling

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The Independent Online
Sir: Polly Toynbee's assertion that recycling can be a viable and profitable initiative makes good sense, especially given her acknowledgement that using recycled newsprint is cheaper than using new wood pulp.

Why is it, then, that recycled paper is so much more expensive to buy in the shops? Are the manufacturers cashing in on those of us with an environmental conscience?

NIGEL GOODWIN

University of Nottingham

Sir: Those who have been following coverage in The Independent of the recognition dispute at Ford of Dagenham, occasioned by some 300 drivers in the truck fleet transferring from the Transport & General Workers Union to URTU, may be forgiven for thinking that racism is the root cause.

In an article by Barrie Clement (11 September) you reported: "While the proportion of ethnic minority workers in the main factories at Dagenham is between 40 and 50 per cent, the proportion in the truck fleet is around 2 per cent".

The statistics are used to infer that the disparity is virtual proof of racial discrimination, whereas the low percentage of ethnic minority drivers simply reflects the proportion of ethnic minority drivers found in the LGV driver population of the UK as a whole.

Your report also signally failed to mention that the TUC Disputes Committee completely cleared URTU of any suggestion of racism, just as it also cleared them of having directly recruited TGWU members.

DOUGLAS CURTIS

Head of Campaigns and

Communications

The United Road Transport Union

Strensall, Yorkshire

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