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Last Updated: Friday, 23 April, 2004, 06:24 GMT 07:24 UK
Patriotic boss sends staff home
Workers at the Sandblaster Ltd factory
Staff at the firm said the extra holiday was a nice surprise
A patriotic boss at a Staffordshire firm has given his staff the day off to celebrate St George's Day.

Workers at the Sandmaster Ltd factory, in Hixon, near Stafford, were told they were being given an extra holiday on Friday.

The day will cost thousands of pounds in lost production but bosses would like to make it an annual holiday.

Staff at the company, which makes products used for sanding wood and metal, said it was a "nice surprise".

'Promote England'

Director, Mike Hughes said: "We are English and are manufacturing a product in England which is exported all around the world.

"So we thought it was only right to let our employees in on what we were doing.

"I don't think that the English promote England enough, so that's we're trying to do in a small way.

"It's just to encourage a little bit of spirit in the company - at the moment we are very busy indeed and could probably do without losing any production but it's encouraging the staff a lot more to be giving them a paid bank holiday."

Diane Grillo, from Great Haywood, who works at Sandmaster said: "Scotland celebrate their day, Ireland do and so do Wales. Why not England?

"Really it should be a national holiday, he's our patron saint.

"If this factory has started doing it why not everyone else? It's lovely - we've been looking forward to it all week - no overtime, nothing - just a long weekend off."

Colin Grimett, from Rugeley who works in the company warehouse, added: "It boosts the morale of the workers - when they give you something for nothing it's always good.

"It's a British tradition and should be a national holiday."


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