Locksmith Industry in Turmoil Over Door Handle Shortage
Due to long-running industrial action in a Turkish door handle factory, there is now a dearth of new door handles in the UK. Shortages are exacerbated by panic-buying locksmiths and DIY-fanatics.
A dispute between the management and workers at a Turkish door handle factory has resulted in a strike. The factory, which supplies the bulk of the UK’s non-specialist door handle products (i.e. regular handles used in houses and offices), has already been closed for three weeks, and the strike has resulted in a Europe-wide shortage of handles.
As a result, millions of construction projects cannot go ahead, and hundreds of thousands of homes afflicted by broken handles are being left in the lurch.
“Billions of pounds in fines”
We were able to speak to Lord Wilmore, chairman of the board at Thomson & French, the bank whose new skyscraper was due to open in the City of London at the start of May: “We’ve had to delay the opening of our new state-of-the-art headquarters because, without door handles, our employees won’t be able to get in or out. This kerfuffle is delaying our crucial financial projects, and has led to billions of pounds in fines from the Financial Conduct Authority.”
(It is worth noting that the FCA’s report on the fines makes no mention of door handles, but instead refers extensively to the bank’s “duplicitous trading practices”.)
“Tonnerre de Brest!”
Not only is the shortage causing panic-buying, however. Many people, desperate to get their hands on a door handle, have taken to stealing. The main victims are buildings with large numbers of doors. Schools, hospitals, office blocks and the mansions of the obscenely wealthy have been targeted.
In an interview with Gaspard Caderousse, a French teacher from Bishop Busoni’s High School for Girls in Highgate, we learned that, “the constant theft of door handles is my bête noir, saperlipopette! After un weekend très bien, I arrive at work le lundi only to find that a bunch of éspèces de moule-frites have stolen my precious handles! Mille millions de mille milliards de mille sabords de tonnerre de Brest!“
Until an agreement is reached in Turkey, there will be many more angry Frenchmen giving interviews.
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