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 Thursday, 16 January, 2003, 17:12 GMT
Sunday work ruling challenged at tribunal
Stephen Copsey
Stephen Copsey arrives at the tribunal in Norwich
A quarry worker who lost his job after refusing to work on Sundays for religious reasons has taken his former employers to an industrial tribunal.

Stephen Copsey, 32, worked at WBB Devon Clays in King's Lynn, Norfolk for more than 14 years.

But when the company brought in round-the-clock working patterns in April 2002 to meet a large order, they could not guarantee he would never be called in on a Sunday.

Mr Copsey said: "They seem to want me in a corner; either accept Sunday working or be given the boot without even the statutory redundancy pay."

Claim refuted

An operations manager at the company said WBB was surprised to hear of Mr Copsey's claim.

Keith Harrod said: "Steve does not attend church; Mr Copsey had at no time indicated he would not work Sundays on religious grounds."

Mr Copsey's action is supported by the Cambridge-based Keep Sunday Special campaign, which claims that Christians do not have the same protections under the Race Relations Act as other groups.

Paul Diamond, his barrister, said: "This is a test case under the Human Rights Act aiming to protect an individual's liberty to follow their religious beliefs."

WBB, which operates clay and sand quarries in the UK, employs 59 people at its King's Lynn plant.

The tribunal continues.


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