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UK unions' heatbusting call

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As UK temperatures head for a possible all-time high, British unions have called for UK companies to adopt a more relaxed dress code, the BBC reports.

Allowing workers to remove their clothing would, the TUC argues, permit a cranking-down of the air contitioning which - while quite possibly preventing a serious outbreak of office spontaneous combustion - does little for firms' electric bills or the environment.

TUC general secretary Brendan Barber explained: "Not only will a cool approach to work avoid staff wilting at their desks, it could also save companies money as they should be able to turn down the air con a notch. Arctic-style air conditioning may stop the workplace from becoming like an oven, but its overuse is not good for the environment."

Barber cited the example of Japanese prime minister Junichiro Koizumi, who has "urged his country not to wear jackets and ties during summer" - for Japanese business a concession pretty well equivalent to Brit managers suggesting employees sit naked in the office drinking beer and smoking marijuana.

For the record, the BBC Weather Centre said "it expected London temperatures to reach 37C (99F) on Wednesday, breaking the July record of 36C (97F) in Epsom, Surrey, in 1911". BBC forecaster Tomasz Schafernaker added there was a 10 per cent chance that the UK's previous all-time record of 38.5C, notched up in August 2003, could be topped. ®

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