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Bed Tester Industrial Action Halted By
picket line of protestors outside the head office of bed retailers DFS
yesterday was forced to call an end to their strike action after many
swathes of people fell asleep.
Many of the workers, who in some cases had not tested a bed for four
straight days, literally dropped to the ground as the lack of sleep finally
overpowered their long-running industrial action with bed manufacturers
including wholesale furniture giants DFS. Sloganeering workers began to
reduce the ferocity of their shouting as persistent
yawning increasingly disrupted the impact.
Tired and snoozing workers were eventually piled into a DFS delivery truck
and were returned to their places of abode between one and three business
working days. Members still standing attempted to
commandeer the vehicle but were too tired to think straight and
failed to fabricate a succinct plan to do so, with some resolving instead to
use the last of their energy to simply fell asleep on the road, kipping in
front of the truck to stifle its progress.
The action has been gathering increasing coverage in the national news,
prompting other unions to stage their own protestations is a show of
solidarity against the bedding conglomerates. The NUTTERS (National Union of
the Testing of Tables, Teapots, Elevators, Radiators and Shoes) are rumoured
to be balloting to begin a similar action, sure to send shockwaves across
these affected markets.
The president of the NUTTERS, know only as
The Technology Scab Monkey, earlier this
week insisted that direct action was necessary. “The mega-corporations in
the bedding industry are becoming too comfortable,” he said, “this
complacent treatment of workers cannot and will not be tolerated by us or by
our associated comrades”.
The dispute prompted industrial action on the part of the bed testers when a
consortium of bed manufacturers including DFS, Ikea and Silentnight,
initiated new guidelines in its employee charter code stipulating that
testers must work longer hours. They insist that Government legislation on
maximum work hours does apply to the industry on the grounds that the
workers are effectively getting rest while they are at work. In the run up
to the action, 48 hour shifts became
commonplace, and it is believed that the plight of one worker, who went
blind after testing beds for 78 consecutive hours.
Above: Workers have been forced to test beds
like this one for 48 hours at a time
A spokesman for the consortium of bed manufacturers
welcomed the end to the action this morning. He also denied reports that
sleeping tablets were used to speed up the tiring
process of the protestors. “I think they were tired enough
without the [sleeping] pills!” he quipped.
When questioning the motives of the strike, the spokesman denied that the
new regulations were unfair on employees. He instead took the opportunity to
take what has already been construed as a coded
swipe at some of the main instigators. “While we’re not saying
that the workers have decided to strike because they’re too lazy to work, it
does beg the question, would a lazy person be interested in becoming a bed
tester? And the answer to that is yes”.