UnNews:Never ending job to finally end

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18 February 2008

Forthworkmen

Kenny Fae Fife (centre, left) started work as a painter in 1969 yet has only managed to put down 13 days and 4 hours on his timesheet since then.

Edinburgh, Scotland - The process of painting the Forth Rail Bridge is finally set to end in four years' time, it has been announced after the fifty workmen contracted to paint the bridge were sacked on Sunday. After the opening of the bridge in 1890, Network Rail announced that it has already taken the Fife based painting firm ‘Kingdom Paints’ 118 to do a years work. Network Rail's chief executive, Iain Coucher, said “It’s taken so long that one of the lads here says that his grandfather got his first job painting this bridge. It’s a national disgrace and we’ve just had enough, like.”

The need for continuous surveillance of the fifty lazy Fifers has passed into folklore and led to the coining of a phrase for a never-ending job and the expression "like painting the Forth Bridge" even features in the Cambridge International Dictionary of Idioms. One worker Kenny Fae Rosyth, from Rosyth near Dunfermline was dismayed by the action but says the boys could see it coming. “Aye, well eh… well you cannae expect to sit o’er the brig wi’ yer hob nobs and brew like while peltin’ the seagulls wi chips for years on end, ken, and expect to stay in a joab for much loanger… ken.”

He also added "we goat a wee bit bored wi' the whole paint and brush 'hing like and at one point we paid some lads fae the toon to come by wi' their spraypaint cans ken, but the Netwurk Rail guy didnae like the bit o' the brig done in green. He said tae us it hud tae be done in red, ken."

Marshall Scott of engineers Balfour Beatty said: "Kingdom Paints put down in excess of 2.4 million hours on the bridge on their time sheets over six years, yet did the equivalent of three hours work over that period”. As a result, the painting contract has been terminated with immediate effect and the £74m contract has been passed over to Edinburgh based Polski Paints Ltd who are hoped to complete the job by 2012.


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